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« Super Bowl Ads, CGM, and Marketing Fusion | Main | Folks...It's Official!!!! »

February 20, 2006


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This is an important post, because it cuts to the practicality of WOM/Viral techiniques. The NBC case notwithstanding, it is clear that allowing a piece of content to be freely shared and remixed is not an easy thing to do inside of a corporation. This is why simplistic calls to "let go of control" in marketing articles and speeches fall flat.

I think marketers should visit Creative Commons. This non-profit is seeking a new version of copyright. Artists are starting to pay attention, and marketers should as well.

Pete brings up some important questions and they remind me of the music sampling discussion years back.

Creative Commons is a good place to start, but I suspect we won't find all of the answers there.

If passionate consumers are re-mixing your ads or your brand and not doing it for commercial gain, do you want to stop this? It depends. Your customers' interpretation of your brand may not agree with your company's interpreation.

If this occurs, it raises a whole other set of questions as to what your brand's value really is in the eyes of the consumer.

I've found that the language of the Creative Commons licenses are pretty vague and clumsy, especially the ones on Flickr. In my experience, contacting the artist directly ends up being a necessary step one way or the other. In its present form, CC isn't doing much but telling me to go talk to the artist about what I want to do.

I thought it was interesting that NBC did not go after any of the individuals remixing Lazy Sunday, at least not the ones on that I can tell. Is this an implicit statement of fair use limits, or was it just too impractical to go after them?

awesome post pete. love it. NBC's move is exactly what i would expect (they want to own the right to sell their material for $1.99 a download) and yet so dumb. i haven't watched SNL for years. because it sucks. then i saw this vid on you tube and thought "oh, might be time to tune in again." the unauthorized display of Lazy Sunday probably gained SNL viewers. I guess the question for the new millenium is: What's more valuable... TV network viewers (and network ad revenue) or $1.99 downloads? How about option C? Giving away branded content. Make engaging content that involves brands. I'm not talking about product placement...that sucks. I'm talking about making content that is openly about marketing & advertising and people and pop culture. That's what CP+B is doing, and the other digital players too. It's what i'm doing with
coBRANDiT, but with a WOM/CGM angle. The content has to be better than an ad. It has to be grounded in reality.

Back to Lazy Sunday: notice NBC slapped down the lawsuit, not Narnia or any of the other brands mentioned in the skit. Brands want the stuff given away, content creators want to get paid. If brands create the content, problem solved. Here's the WOM/CGM catch: they need to create the content with their audience. customers. consumers.

as for the inevitable negative stuff: if you've got a good product and you don't treat people like jerks, or destroy the environment, don't sweat it. again a key WOM principle...make people happy. engage your detractors. do good. yes, i have swallowed the kool aid.

i think CC is great. it doesn't even matter to me what the details are. what's important to me is that it shows (when you see a CC licsence) that the creator isn't an ass. don't you hate all the copyright and restricted and TM signs you see on corporate stuff? it's a joke. CC means you want to share and collaborate. nice.

how's that for an answer pete?

ok, i didn't edit before posting...such is the nature of a rant. let me clarify: for NBC it's a question of network viewers and ad revenue vs. $1.99 downlaods. one or the other has to work for them or they're screwed. for brands trying to decide where to put their ad $$, how NBC makes it work is of no consequense. they can produce content (option C above) and distribute it themselves.

or anyway, that's one option...

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