Thursday, October 27, 2005

Web 2.0 is Stupid and Burger King Rules

I'm not a fan of 'Web 2.0'. As far as I can tell, the term or label 'Web 2.0' is very little more than bait for more foolish investors to lose their money on internet stocks. Don't get me wrong, cool web sites are being produced. Some innovative ideas are springing up here and there. That's wonderful. But that's what the web has been doing since it started. In fact, it could be said that that is the very nature of the web, the entire purpose of the system. There can be no 2.0 when 1.0 is completely dynamic.

It's like a person. Take me for example. I'm Jason. I would estimate that I am an adult now, but there was no point at which it could be said that Jason 1.0, the kid, became Jason 2.0, the adult. I'm still Jason 1.0, despite the fact that I'm a lot different than I was when I started.

So let's dispense with the magic words. I know that it's some people's jobs to make this kinda stuff up, but let's be honest, it's annoying, it's somewhat misleading, and it's...well, it's stupid.

That's why I like AdWords-style advertising. You write what is essentially a haiku-sized message that says, "I sell what you are looking for". There's no need to spin yarns and trump up a brand new universe every time you want to sell another silly gadget. Just give people exactly what they wanted. Yes, this does mean that I subscribe to Google's concept of ads as content (and by that I mean good ads, of course).

Extending that last thought a bit, I'd like to show you an example of how good advertising really becomes content (or, in this case, something even bigger than content). There's no new clothes for the Emperor in this story, but there is a King. The Burger King, to be more specific. Most humans have probably seen one of the new Burger King commercials that have been running lately. They feature a guy dressed up as the Burger King and they're pretty funny. There's also been a pretty large internet campaign running along side the TV ads that features flash games and whatnot. Now the good part.

As part of the campaign, Burger King is selling Halloween masks of the Burger King and Subservient Chicken. You will note when you visit that site that the Burger King masks are sold out. Yeah. You think that maybe people like this ad campaign? Well here's the kicker: Those masks are selling on eBay for upwards of 70 dollars. A complete costume was going for $257 at time of writing. So when was the last time someone offered you cash for the opportunity to wear your ad on their face? It can be done. And in my opinion, it should be done more often. Maybe TV advertisers wouldn't be so afraid of TiVo if their ads were just as good as the show...

So here's what I think is my point. If you're going to be marketing something, skip the buzzwords and give us something interesting.

2 Comments:

At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Pete Cashmore said...

As far as I'm aware, that "Burger King Halloween Mask" thing was a scam. Burger King was employing "buzz marketers" to hype up the idea. The hypers were posing as "ordinary people" leaving comments on blogs (typical comment found on Engadget: Does anyone know where I can get a genuine Burger King mask? That would make a really great Halloween costume) and emailing prominent bloggers asking whether the masks were available. I doubt they actually sold many of these to real people. If you follow that argument to its logical conclusion, then it may be possible that the eBay sale was also staged, although don't quote me on that. There's more here:

http://www.slate.com/id/2128569/

 
At 9:06 PM, Blogger Rational Beaver said...

Read your post. That is more than a little disappointing.

 

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