Steve has a couple items today that I’m feeling the need to comment on, one of which is (of course) the Marqui product placement deal. I do like the term product placement, and as soon as BMW wants to pay me $800 a month and a year’s lease on an M5 I’ll be there to test it out. Marc, let me know the SECOND the BMW deal is a go, okay?
It’s a lot like this Diet Pepsi that I have right here beside me, it’s so refreshing and tasty… mmmmm…..
The difference between the Marqui form of product placement is that this placement is transparently acknowledged. I’m all too ready to tell people who’s paying the bills, and the latest Will Smith movie, is not. Sure, it’s no big surprise to many people how Taco Bell, Pepsi, KFC, etc are inserted into films as little more than commercials, and how actors have to focus not only on their lines and actions, but on how to hold the can of cool, refreshing soda that they just happen to have retrieved from the fridge in the middle of a fight. They stop, take a long drink, sigh with the sheer refreshment like they would in a Mountain Dew commercial, and then go back to killing the bad guys. THAT is obscene, and this is just business.
I prefer to think of it more along the lines of the relationship between Mat Groening and Fox Television. Big corporate giant would squash anyone that crosses them, destroy creativity, and walk over the writers and actors, right? You might think so but with The Simpsons, and to a lesser extent, Futurama, there appears to be little of this. The TV network has tried to change the content of the shows, and has rarely succeeded. Just how many times have The Simpsons badmouthed Fox and Rupert Murdoch personally? Hundreds. The network knows where the cash comes from and they behave. My theory is that Marqui knows something that other people have yet to learn… good reviews by these bloggers, not to mention all this metablogging about the project, could be THEIR meal ticket.
At worst, all of these new reviewers, these new focus group members who are evaluating the software will HATE it and provide feedback on WHY it doesn’t work and what makes it such a bad piece of software. Either way, Marqui is buying good information. Of the others I know of that are participating, I feel that they’re a bunch of pretty together people who we can trust to provide good info. If they were paying some company that placed banner ads on a million unrelated websites, they’d be spending more money for less. Maybe they could give Jason some money for Weblogs Inc. ads and see if they provide a better return on their investment…
I think that tomorrow’s as good a day as any to start the paid blogging… I’ve held off even logging into the system or reading the manual so that I can give a clean impression of a user’s first day with the product. After all, who reads the manual first?
Oh, and how cool is it that the CEO of the company is named Stephen King… I think I’ll be doing some book product placement along the way too. Marc has clipped the Internet Week story which isn’t too bad, even if it’s a bit fluffy.