Start Up Blog

Cool hunting – The tail of two movies

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on October 12, 2010

Yesterday I was sent links to two movies which were both entrepreneurial in nature / marketing related. Both revolve around the idea of paid brand ambassadors. One is a documentary on how clever ‘cool hunters’ are, and the other was a Hollywood fabrication of brand evangalists are infiltrating our circle of trust.

The Documentary trailer: The Influencers

The Hollywood trailer: The Joneses

The question it leaves in my mind is whether social media facilitates more authentic or inauthentic ‘hidden’ brand evangelists.

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8 Responses

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  1. Michael said, on October 12, 2010 at 11:37 am

    It really does open up a great discussion ‘The Jones’ movie and about being open about any products that you may of been ‘given’ to test.

    Telstra mentioned this last week at Social Media Club around the last time they gave out phones to people of influence that really the only rule they put on the receiving of the phone was that they needed to not hide the fact it was free from Telstra.

    I guess with only having a small following on twitter myself I have not had any product deals or placements yet – however when it does happen ‘disclosure’ will be the reason for keeping my loyal following and not harming the hard work it takes to build a loyal group of fans!

    Another good post Steve!

    • Steve Sammartino said, on October 12, 2010 at 4:38 pm

      I reckon it is better when people know you love it and you’ve disclosed it – so kudos to Telstra.

      That said, there is nothing more valuable that a non-paid non-vested evangelist who only wants to make someone else’s life more awesome by spreading the word on something which has been awesome for them.

      Steve.

  2. Jag said, on October 12, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Very good post Steve.

    Looks like the documentary video is missing here.

    check this http://vimeo.com/15595024

    Jag

  3. Andre Sammartino said, on October 13, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Saw The Jones on a recent flight.

    It’s far from a great film (way too many montages and terrible soundtrack), but the underlying concept of full-time, undercover brand ambassadors (and the various moral and ethical issues such strategies throw up for the ambassadors) was certainly thought-provoking and eye-opening.

    There is a weird catch-22 with regards to using social media advocates/influencers to promote a product. A lot of the critical mass of influence any specific social media maven his has presumably built up over time. Unless a brand got on board extremely early (i.e. before the blogger/tweeter etc had a significant audience), it runs some serious risks in trying to secretly urge endorsement. The blogger may have more to gain (credibility/kudos/rep/media coverage) from exposing such requests than in taking the payola…

    But, if anyone wants to send me stuff, I’ll say what ever you like :)

  4. Ender Baskan said, on October 13, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I think Dave Chappelle says it best here. To paraphrase: He’s done commercials for Coke and Pepsi and will say whatever it takes to get the cash because thats the game.


    (Warning: Some colourful language)

    Ender

  5. Ender Baskan said, on November 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Here is the full-cut of Influencers. http://vimeo.com/16430345


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