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My space and celebrity

June 21, 2006

On the blog Gigaom, Robert Young has written an interesting post about My Space and celebrity.

Robert’s theory is that the most effective way advertisers could use My Space would be to use real My Space users to help promote product. His idea is that this could help My Space develop advertising that would be more acceptable to the community. This would also be more effective advertising because a friend is more trusted than a celebrity.

The logic to the idea makes sense and Influx is sure there will be a number of advertisers who try and play this game, perhaps not by going to friends directly first, but by encouraging My Space community members to make ads.

The only problem with Robert’s theory is that he is taking the purist view about social networking sites, that they aren’t really into be marketed to and that they don’t have aspirations.

My Space is just so big, everyone is now on board, people are using in like the telephone, not have a My Space page is a signal of social ineptitude. You can tell by looking at the pages that people have brand and celebrity aspirations, they make their own pages for brands and they call out celebrities on their pages.

What’s right about Robert’s theory is that the classic push marketing approach will not work. Advertisers will need to be smarter and have more understanding of how social networks work, they will encourage the communities to create advertising, but they will also find clever ways to use celebrity endorsers.

Influx recently completed a post on the advertising categories that fit best with My Space’s culture. We believe that some brands are better suited to advertising in this network, than others.

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