Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
umair haque  


Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Branding 2.0: Myspace Invaders

Let's connect a few dots.

(COO) Peter Chernin:

"...We need to reorganize the sales force, add sales people and really begin to monetize what's really a pretty extraodinary amount of traffic asnd page views."

From a recent job posting:

"...Top-tier online advertisers such as Nike, Target, Interscope, Cingular, Universal Music, Dreamworks, Sony, Victoria�s Secret, and others looking to hit the 16-34 market are working with MySpace to come up with cool and creative ways to reach our audience."

Clearly, Fox is about try and "monetize" Myspace heavily.

All of which begs a few very interesting questions, since it's going to be the first time big media has really tried to capture a share of the value created by a community at the edge:

0) The philosphical question: is the strategy about milking the community's social capital (and killing it), or treating it with the care it needs?

1) Will they be traditional (lame) ads? Not recommended.

2) Will they try and seed the community with flacks? Extremely not recommended.

3) Will they leverage the community itself = the snowball effect? Recommended.

4) Will they choose the right companies to work with? It looks a little dubious from that list. Nike meets Myspace goths? That's exactly what everyone was afraid Fox would do with Myspace!!

999) Is advertising (traditional) really the revenue stream with the greatest returns from Myspace? Will Fox use this as a platform to redefine advertising for an ultraconnected era? Will Fox clue in to the commoditization of meaning?

I have my doubts.

The bigger point is that Fox is really the only 1.0 Media player who is focusing on building edge competencies. So, like building any other kind of competence, it won't be easy, and the only way to try in the absence of knowledge is to fail (a lot). I think the problems (to put it mildly) Fox is gonna face are fairly transparent, just from looking at these two datapoints.

Sit back and enjoy the show - you're about to see a very expensive attempt at building edge competencies unfold (or implode) in real time.

-- umair // 1:04 AM // 7 comments


My thoughts, from recent observations and experience, is that these "top tier" brands will require any advertising on MySpace to be handled by their designated advertising agency.

This will result in the usual braindead strategy, execution and delivery of their campaign, usually a wafer thin extension of their main offline and glamourous campaigns. Think big microsites, flash ads, games, unconvincing viral movies.

This will lead to a rapid and dramatic exodus of MySpace 16-35 makers makers and trend informers. Within a staggering space of time, MySpace will be a barren husk of un-monetizable users who will move on.

I await to be proved wrong, but that's my feelings about this. Unkle Rupe is smart, but I don't think his underlings have suddenly grasped every nuance of electronic media in a couple of months.
// Anonymous paulpod // 1:22 AM

They seem to be locked into the same old world of big advertisers, big agencies, big strategies.

Why court Nike when you could find 100 0 smaller players who are 1/900th of Nike's size? Why not leverage, in a smart way all the information your users are WILLINGLY giving you? Why not extract the real value by fostering the community, making it easy for commerce to thrive, and keep everything transparent and alive? Instead of working with Nike etc., they should be making Nike play their game.

Instead, users will be treated as just another audience, which is the old media.

User does not equal audience.
// Anonymous Anonymous // 7:23 AM

Interesting thing someone pointed out to me last night about myspace - "90% of the users dont even know who owns it"

The other thing I heard was that the founders didnt want to sell but had no choice as they didnt own it...
// Anonymous James Cooper // 12:27 PM

This is a wonderful opportunity ...

... and you just know that Fox are going to opt for banner ads and/or interstitials and...
// Anonymous Paul Watson // 3:07 PM

What paulpod said. And to TagWorld they go...
// Anonymous Anonymous // 8:52 AM

Sustainable model:
1) Target the product or brand's ads at users by using the context built with their own profiles.
2) Aim to undersaturate the market. In fact, make the ads desirable by offering something (graphics, profile benefits, video content, etc.) to only the first 1,000 users to interact with a new campaign.
3) Be willing to NOT show ads to users if there aren't any ads appropriate for them.

...not that any ad firm could manange to restrain themselves.
// Anonymous Mike Bijon // 9:56 AM

A new way of thinking has been developed by GMI Networks in monetizing Review the site at for social network advertising.
// Anonymous Anonymous // 12:33 PM
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