Thursday, April 14, 2005

Character Blogs

So it seems the discussion on character blogs/fake blogs is one that keeps on going and going. The lasted is thanks to a Moose over at Moosetopia. I already posted my thoughts a couple of weeks ago but thought it worthwhile to include the thoughts of some other sensible bloggers:
"If a character blog is funny and revealing about the company, great. If it sucks, then I'll stop reading it. If everybody stops reading and clicking, then the company will--hopefully--figure that out and either change things or stop. We're all still experimenting with blogs as tools for businesses and I reiterate that I don't think all blogs have to fit the mold of a person blogging as themselves. Alter-egos are fine." -Tris Hussey at View from the Isle

Now the reason I'm so hot on the subject is that we just launched a character blog here at P&G to support our new Secret Sparkle Body Sprays. The site is "Where the Sparkle Girls Get Real" and is meant to be just a fun little promotion where the characters on our bottles are played out. This isn't a blog that is meant to be a way for Secret to talk with our consumers about their likes/dislikes. Instead, it is meant to be a promotional tool where consumers (teens in particular) can learn about the Body Spray scents and interact with the characters. It's just meant to be fun. Why can't certain bloggers realize this?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Robby said...

Some thoughts on character blogs...

First, I'll state the obvious. Traditional bloggers that have issues with character blogs must step back and see the bigger picture, and remove their own thoughts and pre-conceived notions from the equation.

The audience for a product/site like the Secret site is largely 13 year old girls. These are the same girls that spend 1 hour per visit to neopets.com playing with imaginary pets. It is not a stretch at all to think that they would find a site like SparkleBodySpray.com engaging.

The site is clearly not intended for 35+ year old balding men. I have learned many things in my older age, but one very sad moment came when I discovered that if I don't like something, teens probably will. And if I find something particularly cool, teens probably won't.

I believe the same applies to the Captain's Blog as well. The same people that spend hours reading every word of useless knowledge in an FHM or Maxim magazine wouldn't find it to be such a stretch to read through the Captain's Blog. As a matter of fact, it would be a bigger stretch for them to end up on a Captain Morgan's site without something as engaging as the blog. Without the blog and a little promotion, why would anyone go? Captain Morgan knows the value of website visitors, and knew that it would take something as 'entertaining' as the Captain's Blog to get people there. The familiar blog format makes it fun - even funny at times. Once again, the site is not created for 45 year old political bloggers that maybe drink socially once a year. The audience is obviously much younger, very social (in the real world, not just online) and waaaay more open-minded than your typical blogger with a 5 year old blog.

I was at a wedding this weekend (my own). During the reception, I caught the middle of a conversation about the Captain's Blog. Two of the five people had been to the site and were commenting on the blog while standing at the bar. None of them happen to be bloggers by the way. But they were all right on target.

So if a 45 year old political blogger dislikes the Secret site or the Captains Blog, it is probably a good thing. For every outspoken blogger that may dislike the blog - there are millions of people within each brands target that will love it - and that is ALL that matters.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Simon Andrews said...

I think we'll see more and more brands using blogs - and some will get it right -as you seem to have done - and some will get it less right - such as Captain Morgan who seem to have spammed their own comments.
But the consumer is in control and those who've found bloggers because of the Businessweek cover will have a different view of them than those of us who've been blogging for a while.
But the people who start media don't always have a good take on how people will end up using it.

5:50 AM  

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