Paying People To Rename Themselves As Brands

from the would-you-do-it? dept

The power of word-of-mouth to make or break a product has long been well known. But recently, there’s been interest in directly exploiting this, as though people’s conversations were just another advertising channel, like TV or radio. The problem is, it’s really difficult to get people to just bring up products in their conversations, and trying to do so raises all kinds of ethical problems, not mention it’s really hard to measure and track. Along these lines, one company is offering to pay people to add an advertisement to their IM names, so, for example, if your handle had been “chessplayer103”, you’d change it to “chessplayer 103 visit”, and every time your name popped up in conversation, the ad would appear yet again. And the longer you talk with more and more friends, the more you get paid. This is certainly one way of injecting a product into a conversation, and it’s easy to imagine the next step, which would be to pay people for actually dropping an ad into the text of the chat. But ultimately, we doubt many people will be keen on monetizing their friendships this way, and it should be pretty easy to scam using computer-to-computer automated chats.

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Comments on “Paying People To Rename Themselves As Brands”

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DV Henkel-Wallace says:

it's happening already

and it’s easy to imagine the next step, which would be to pay people for actually dropping an ad into the text of the chat.

This has been happening for the last few years, actually. There are specific agencies that contract with individuals (primarily students or others in their 20s) to talk up specific products.

Mike C. says:

Marketing is out of control...

{sarcasm} I, for one, (visit would never stoop so low ($10 off your next visit to Joe Chiropractor – mention this ad) as to include advertisements ( in my text-based communications ( with any of my friends (….. {/sarcasm}

|3331373|3|_||3 says:

Change the names of your frinds when they appear

I know people who do this because they cannot keep track of the stupid names that some of the girls I know seem to have nothing better to do than come up with. This way, you set up some chat script with a bunch of friends, scam the companies, and do so a t no cost or real effort on my part. I’m up for it, if the money’s good enough.

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