Excellent analysis of fakery and blogishness — from Lonelygirl 15 to Fake Steve Jobs — we’re awash in it, and here my colleague Mike Etherington, the genius behind last year’s Lenovo Tapes, should take a bow for doing bogus right.:
“A wink and a nod to the audience may be the difference between a wildly successful viral campaign and outright hostility. Itâ€™s the difference between the saga of lonelygirl15 who was in fact just an actress and the fake blog of a cosmetically-challenged woman Claire who was just a creation of Vichy, a division of French cosmetics giant Lâ€™Oreal. The former was entertainment; the latter was an attempt at a fast one.
Consumers need to be in on the joke, not made to feel that the joke is on them. At some point, there must be a sign or signal that what they are seeing, reading or listening to is entertainment or make believe.
And thatâ€™s exactly what The Lenovo Group did. Most people donâ€™t they are the world’s third-largest personal computer maker. What did they do? They went viral with a spoof Web site. As Steve Hamm reported in BusinessWeek that the site attracted 3 million visitors in first few weeks. The campaign pretended to let viewers in on some super advanced technologies being tested by the company. The site’s anonymous producer had supposedly received some videotapes revealing the secret research. The joke is apparent once viewers click through to the tapes.”