"What's in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other word would smell as sweet."
The question is a matter of life and death in the Romeo & Juliet Shakespearean world.
In the world of online video, the same question can be asked, but “all” that is at stake is multi-billion dollar business models!
Greg Sterling discusses how Wendy’s has been “broadcasting itself” at YouTube, posting “commercials that ‘masqueraded’ as videos.”
Sterling warns of the “masquerade”:
Even though these spots may have been clever, edgy or entertaining, they’re effectively video spam because they were put there by an ad agency on behalf of Wendy’s.
A search for “Wendy’s” at YouTube results in “clever, edgy, entertaining” spots about the Wendy’s experience, posted by “real" YouTubers.
In the “what’s in a name” YouTube clip culture, strikingly similar video clips about “branded” experiences can be posted by “real” YouTubers, “spam” pseudo YouTubers or YouTube endorsed brand channel sponsors!
Moreover, YouTubers often are agnostic regarding the provenance of the video, as Sterling notes:
In “MySpace, Facebook, NBC: Brands rule, not users” I ask, “Are users 'in control,' or are users being controlled by multi-million dollar corporate brand messages?":
There was considerable exposure apparently, with some users responding positively and others critical of the spots.
Is social networking star MySpace relying solely on individual MySpace “friends” created content or is the Facebook college phenomenon relying solely on individual Facebookers’ created “pokes”? NO
In “Monetizing you and your friends: The Social Web seeks social brand dollars,” I ask “How much is friendship worth?”:
Billions, to the likes of social networking sites Facebook and MySpace…
To reach the frothy financial goals, both MySpace and Facebook are commercializing “friendship” through social branding.
At MySpace, brands have member profiles and make friends with other MySpace members. At Facebook, members join Facebook brand groups, just like they join Facebook fraternity or hobby groups, and display brand logos on their personal profiles.
Social branding may prove to be the ultimate product placement strategy.