Trying to buy buzz

Driving on the NJ Turnpike and then later on a run to CT, I see these "I pooted" billboards.

To me, it's meaningless. Sounds like pooped. Obviously, an ad for something.

When I got home and was online, I decided to do a search and sure enough there's some buzz on it.

Defined: it's toddler slang for "I farted." A bit more clicking and I discover it's part of an ad campaign for some program on the Cartoon Network. Their hope was surely that they would create some buzz for something new. Get bloggers to talk about it. Make you'll want to Google it.

This seems to be a big thing now. Some videos go viral and get spread by email links in an amazing way. Check the top 100 in Google Video and you'll be amazed at the junk there, and perhaps amazed at the number of commercials there. Put up by fans? Or by shills of the company? You could run an ad campaign without paying for ad time.

Can you manufacture buzz? Well, the "Google bombing" that has been done that plays with the way Google ranks pages seems to indicate that you can. (So you can still Google "miserable failure" and it will turn up the bio of George W. Bush at the White House site - though I see that #2 is Michael Moore or Jimmy Carter or someone that Bush's supporters are trying to have hit the top.)

And product placement in TV shows has hit an all time high it seems. Quite scary when you hear that it has gone way beyond just using GM cars in a show (The X Files used Fords) or only Apple computers or Coke rather than Pepsi to the point where show writers are writing products into the plot. And if at first writers balked at this attack on their freedom, it seems that now they are more interested in getting a piece of the product pie cash that goes along with the placement.


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