Personal email blasts. They remind me of chain letters, except the four or five old friends who have me on their lists donâ€™t always require me to pass on or be cursed with â€śfive years of bad luck.â€ť Like personal blogs, the tone, e.g., â€śtrueâ€ť stories, jokes, and advice, usually reflect the personâ€™s age, politics, interests and philosophy. As a whole, these folks are not Tweeters but they sure love their email blasts.
Several weeks ago, I received one that I actually looked at, a very sophisticated and well-produced video on YouTube re the â€śjoys of getting old.â€ť The jokes were pretty standard but it was obvious that this was not made in some seniorâ€™s basement. Then, halfway through the three-minute vignette, the geyser reaches into his frig and pulls out a bottle of Coca-Cola. Bingo. Paid, sealed and delivered by the folks who care about seniorsâ€¦buying their product.
I made the mistake of sending back a comment that it was a Coca-Cola produced advertisement. Good grief, talk about the Holy Grail. Few of the group of eight believed that it was advertiser sponsored. Has YouTube and the â€śmediaâ€ť done such a good job that a public, even though it may be an over-50 crowd, believes that the corporate folks are not taking advantage of YouTube, Facebook and other social media tools to â€śsellâ€ť? Product placement, anyone?
So now, Iâ€™m curious. Iâ€™ve been looking for research on social media and unattributed advertising with little luck. Let me know if you have or see any good consumer studies. Oh, I got kicked off my friendâ€™s email list. Thatâ€™s all right. My mid-western friend still sends me dirty jokes.