My name is Chris Gatley and I normally write for Talking Tech. After reading this why not hope over there and see the latest happenings in consumer technology (please and thank you).
For those who haven’t heard it yet, we have a new queen of YouTube pop stardom. Her name is Tay Allyn and besides from being on TLC’s “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant” (if you don’t know what the show is about, think harder), she one of the mastermind’s behind the newest YouTube sensation “Mass Text”. The video was uploaded 2 weeks ago and features just over 905k views as of this writing. The song deals with the perils of high school and the ego deflation that is being left out of a mass text message, even though she is apparently in his contacts list.
After watching the video I thought that it was just another singer who had deep pockets and believed she could be a star like last year’s Rebecca Black with her viral sensation, “Friday”. Then I dug into the description on the YouTube page and something caught my eye: “Chosen by Justin Timberlake and MySpace as a top upcoming artist of 2013.”
Really? Could JT really be hearing something in her that no one else seems too? I think not. I see this as a clever way to draw attention to the new MySpace that is owned by Timberlake and I feel that his efforts will not go unnoticed.
Let’s begin with some obvious items: when searching “MySpace top upcoming artist of 2013” nothing will be found.
Go for it. I will wait.
Welcome back, I missed you.
Now another thing to consider is the traffic influx that can be brought into MySpace by the community of people attempting to find this award that Allyn was given or just looking for Allyn’s MySpace page to see what else she decided to create in her secret House-Music-Auto-Tune Lab. People will be pushed to go to the MySpace site and search around leaving 2 options: they will create an account to access the private information, thus, boosting the subscriber rate; or the masses will (and this is what they hope would be the case) see how new and hip the MySpace website is and subscribe on their own to join the party.
We are in a game changing moment here where if this is a viral video created by MySpace then what will be next? The answer is simple: oversaturation. If this video is confirmed as a publicity stunt then brands far-and-wide will flock to the interwebs and post content that is subliminally telling them to view their product—even more so than they already are. With sponsored content online we know what we are expecting. When we see insane aerial stunts, their parachute says Redbull. With the new subliminal advertising techniques that appear to be in play, we will no longer see such blatant product placement and instead our minds will be tricked into looking for the product through research on our own. Creativity will be manufactured instead of actually being from someone who wants to be creative. We will stop seeing the days of Brand X’s twitter account actually being hacked, and instead see a poser trying to make the news and garner publicity by faking a twitter account being hacked.
What you will always hear from the client is that we have to make the “new hit thing” and the dreaded sentence, “We need to make a viral video.” One cannot just make a viral video. You cannot just make a kitten sneeze on command. You cannot make a fat person fall down the stairs, losing their pants in the process and throwing their strawberry milkshake up into the air and having it land so perfectly on their forehead creating a Uni-Lard (while made up, I think I am onto something here). This type of subliminal marketing is genius, creative and will be the downfall of the internet as we know it (hyperbole mildly implied). When people see a video in the future it will always be leaden with the thought that it is just a marketing stunt. The viral hit will now be presented by Brand X lessening the thought that the act you are seeing could actually happen randomly instead of being manufactured by an agency with a computer. Gone are the days of searching for a funny clip and welcome the days of being bombarded with 15 videos of the same cat sneezing the same way; yet in the videos they will be placed next to different items like Kleenex, Reese’s Puffs and Bengay.
So bravo, Mr. Timberlake. Bravo.
Your brilliant idea has claimed the naivety and need for terrible music of us all. But will it work? Will people really see this nugget of a clue that was left in the description line? Was all of my rambling for not? What if this idea was never on the minds of advertisers until they read this humble entry and decided that this would be the way to advertise now? Is this now my fault? Or is this just a terrible song by a disenfranchised woman who everyone will obsess over until the next disenfranchised person comes around to peddle their newest “hit”?
Who knows? But I will keep hitting replay on the video, researching this artist and perusing my new MySpace account until I figure it out. They won’t trick me into what they want. Never.
What do you think? Is this a massive viral publicity stunt or am I just crazy? Let us know in the comments below.
Follow Me on Twitter, Because That’s a Thing People Do: @ThatChrisGatley