Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Like grandma's thong

Some things just don't go together:

  • The Dalai Lama's AK47
  • David Hasselhoff's Cooking Show
  • Jay Leno's Book of Funny Jokes
  • Paris Hilton's channel on YouTube
Thanks for the courtesy chuckle. Unfortunately, the last one is true. In partnership with Prison Break on FOX (an ad will run during the show pointing to her channel), Paris has a YouTube page and isn't afraid to use it. Here it is in all it's "that's hot" glory. Let's see what we can learn from Paris Hilton's page:
  • Paris logged in 5 minutes ago. How cute! Like a brand new blogger, she's checking her stats every few minutes.
  • Paris has favorited one YouTube video, featuring the best of YT geekiness. She's so down to earth and into this "community" thing.
  • Paris has no friends. Like, you wish you could be her friend.
  • Paris has not subscribed anywhere else. "Umm duh, cuz it's always about me."
  • Paris has no comments from others. "Umm gross! I totally don't want you touching my page"
Let's be honest here. Paris is an important person, a V. I. F'ing P. mkay? Paris has like, stuff to do. You don't go and just talk to Paris. She is so far out of your freak'n league dude! But don't worry. She totally wants you to watch her videos. That would make her happy. You want to make her happy don't you?

I snapped on the gloves and brought a sample video over from the channel. As much as you're killing yourself for wanting to click, you know you do. Go ahead. I'll look the other way.


Ok, enough joking around. This is probably one of the worst ideas of the year. The simple fact is that Paris Hilton does not belong on YouTube. Let's put aside Paris Hilton the celebrity, you know, the walking embodiment of a used condom. Let's look at Paris Hilton for what she represents, a product of old media (not 100% true, more on this later). "Paris Hilton" was born from tv and magazine tabloids, a reality show, movies and music. If the old media entertainment industry were a person, Paris would be its Barbie doll. She is important in her own way. So this Paris channel on YouTube is something traditional marketers need to pay attention to, if for no other reason than to avoid doing the same.

Repeat after me: This is not how to make a presence on new media. You don't slap your typical old media crap onto a new media site and really think you're engaging the people there. Paris' channel is (at the time of this post) 5th in the rank of channels. She's beaten out by the #1 channel, geriatric1927, a gentleman who's got more value on his skintags than Paris does with her whole plastic body. The fact is, the marketers behind this Paris Hilton channel just don't get it.

You can't just shove your way into new media. Sure, you can make a good controversial video, "plant" it somewhere online and watch it spread across the world in seconds (The only thing Paris has done correctly in new media) but even that is not truly engaging in the new space. In order to do new media right, you have to commit to playing by the rules. Was it really Paris that logged in 5 minutes ago? If it was, why isn't she saying anything? Why isn't she commenting on other videos or showing us more than one favorite? Compare this to the infamous Brookers or very sincere Lucy and you start to understand why old media ways don't work.

New media is about being genuine, a little goofy, a little vulnerable. It's about showing us your faults and not asking for forgiveness but asking us to laugh along with you. New media is the 8th date, when you forget to have your guard up and let a burp escape but your date laughs and you fall in love. It is about working together to entertain each other and sometimes it doesn't work but it's always fulfilling.

Until traditional marketers are ready to do this, we'll keep seeing stuff like Paris Hilton's channel. And as long as we keep seeing this stuff, we'll keep changing the channel, skipping the ads and generally avoiding this made-up, pushed-up and generally f-ed up stuff we call marketing.

via MarketingVox

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