A funny thing happened on the way to MySpace: advertisers noticed a bunch of teenagers with time and money. Ever desperate to find today’s youth market, they have found an apparent gold mine. All those kids, all that disposable income.
All that noise.
Business Week revisits News Corps’ unprecedented $580 million purchase of MySpace and decides it’s a good thing. Six months later, it looks like the social networking site is a sure thing. Knowing people who have found success or at last happiness on the site, I’d say it’s a place that’s going to be around for a while. Of course, being a former teenager, I can assure you that it’s a particularly fickle species, and the last thing advertisers want in this world is fickleness.
Here’s the problem facing advertisers: places like MySpace thrive because there is no parental control. BW accurately represents the site as a teenager’s bedroom. Some are very neat, some have things hidden in drawers that will get the kids into trouble. And advertisers, despite their most fervent hopes, cannot have it both ways.
Just last week, the case of Jack Daniels using the song “Jane Says” to promote its products.
Makes you wonder if a) They bothered to listen to the song, b) They’re crazy, or c) They’re really crazy.
If advertisers want to reach the audiences they’ve deemed desirable, they’re going to have to tarnish the corporate image (also, stop thinking that they’re cool enough to fool kids into thinking products targeted toward kids are cool). Places like MySpace may be implementing the social networking equivalent of hall monitors, but that’s not going to create a Disney-friendly site. So while I wouldn’t suggest using a song about heroin addiction to promote alcoholic beverages (really, JD), I would suggest loosening the “acceptable places to advertise” rules.
You wanna go where the kids are.