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 ____.com", 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.