Anil comments on the news that Dr Pepper is trying to use blogs for some new form of viral marketing (also discussed here). There are 2 things I’m thinking on that subjects;
It’s one more sign of the new credibility of blogs, sure it’s not necessarily a good or pleasant thing to see that kind of advertising making it’s way in a somewhat unspoiled terrain but it does show the new mindshare of the whole blog media. And if you are one to think that money in weblogging can bring about some interesting new developpements (as I am), then that could be part of how some financing makes its way in.
Also, so far all the comments I’ve seen are from the A-list or “serious” bloggers, serious in the sense of aware that they are part of and in the process of defining a new medium. I’m not sure their way of seeing things and what they consider acceptable or ethical is necessarily a good representation of the majority of bloggers. They are a small fraction of the current blogosphere, the most influential one no doubt, but still a small part.
I think the way all those young webcam/weblog/IM hordes (who happen to be the Raging Cow market by the way) will react may be different, in a positive or negative direction, I’m not sure but my guess would be that that marketing will work with them. Even when aware of being pursued, I think they often find a way to both laugh at the attempt while at the same time participating in it and sometimes even pushing the product, kind of a “try this, wink wink” attitude which could work for the brands using that conduit for their ads. As long of course as the campaign relates to it’s market, a badly thought out and executed one will probably crash even worse in that forum than on tv for example.