Sucker Me Once, Shame On You...

Ther internets are all abuzz about the latest marketing machine outing, that of lonelygirl15 from YouTube fame. Lonelygirl15's revelation: It's all just part of the show which is to say, you have been suckered.

Not me because I've not even seen any of her videos, though I definitely admit that she's quite cute. But some of you may recall another faked creation in the form of Plain Layne, a blog ostensibly written by a 20something lesbian just coming to terms with her sexuality and her innate dorkiness. But it turns out that "Layne" was an aging lawyer with a warped sense of ethics (he was, from some accounts, unable to understand why people felt so betrayed by his dishonesty).

I've been duped before, I don't expect I'll get duped again. At least not in the same way, although Bree (lonelygirl15) wasn't, from my quite spotty information, wrestling with her sexuality, just her religion and being lonely in her perfectly decorated studioroom.

Anyway, I don't really care that lonelygirl15 is a marketing construct because I had nothing invested in her. But I can understand why so many people are so thoroughly pissed off at the whole thing.

But the other thing this episode does bring to light is that Creative Artists Agency, the place that invented lonelygirl15, and was undone by IP sleuthing to trace comments back to their site, could have and should have done a better job of covering its tracks.

In today's day and age of internets sleuthing, it should be in the first class taught on viral marketing online. Do Not Post on your campaign from an IP that can be traced back to your agency or company. Duh! If the CAA commenters had just walked down the street to the library before posting, the mystery would still be going and there'd be even more interest.

But I understand that its hard to keep all of these marketing things straight. And the next time an agency does one of these campaigns, they'll very likely incorporate better IP trail covering. Of course, the public will be that much more jaded now in the light of this latest "exploit" by marketers.

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