For quite some time, we've been pushing the idea that advertisements are content and that content is an advertisement. If you don't view the two as being the same thing, then you're bound for trouble. In a world where captive audiences are disappearing, you simply can't get away with advertising the traditional intrusive and annoying way. The only way to advertise is going to be by doing so in a way that people want to find your content, no matter how it's presented. For some reason, automakers seemed to have figured this out a long time ago. BMW had its BMWfilms effort years ago. Honda had its famous "cog" commercial. Now it appears that Lexus is trying something out as well. It's paying a writer to put out a novel where a Lexus is part of the story. Of course, this leads to all sorts of questions about whether or not advertising is taking over certain forms of media -- but the fact is that the lines were blurred a long time ago. If the book is no good, it's not going to matter either way. No one will pay much attention to it. The point is that, if such things are going to work, the content has to be able to stand on its own. But, now, between Lexus coming out with its own books and Burger King coming out with its own video games and movies, it's interesting to see the claims from the traditional industry that there's simply no incentive for creating books, software or movies without strong copyright protection. In these cases, the companies supporting this content would rather it get shared far and wide -- because they know it helps promote their products. In other words, it's yet another example of alternate business models to get content produced without having to worry about piracy -- and, in fact, to be happy when it occurs.
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