Friday, July 6

Viral Marketing

I don't know whether Ecstatic Peace is running a scam on Macy's or scam on me? This showed up via the MySpace bulletin and made me scratch my head. I wondered, for a moment, whether Ecsatic Peace had partnered with Macy's to do a viral marketing campaign...? Or if someone at Escatic Peace found some way to scam Macy's and they are propagating it on MySpace? Both of those ideas sound too far out to me. This bulletin reached 8685 people. That's how many friends Ecstatic Peace has right now. Of course, the most likely explanation is that the Ecsatic Peace account has been hacked (and they just need to change their password or whatever it is one does). I'm certainly not clicking on that link or pasting it in my browser. Ecsatic Peace and Macy's, what an odd pairing. Maybe not... Did you see the Jack Spade mailer from the end of June? The style aped the cover of Sonic Youth's A Thousand Leaves.

The thing with Lonelygirl15 is that it's an experimental work of fiction, exploiting new media, that for some reason looks like a viral marketing campaign. Is this what happens in Marshall McLuhan's World? Everything, in a sense, becomes marketing and advertising? We will no longer be able to tell the difference between what is marketing and what is not marketing? Can you tell? Is the concept of authenticity outmoded? That the autographic mark of the artist is a kind of branding is old news. We've all heard this before. And television commercials are often formally more radical than the programs they buttress (the big budget stuff at least). Timothy Leary, apparently, even said that the future will look back on television commercials as the pinnacle of 20th Century Art (or something along those lines and, yes, with a capital "A"). This, by the way, is an actual anecdote from a friend of mine. I find it to be rather hilarious. Perhaps Pop and everything after is some wild attempt to catch up with the times by those who are trailing behind them... Style, form, branding... What is left if we reject those things? I'm not sure the content, at a core level at least, has changed all that much (for all of recorded history). I mean, after all, is it the archaisms that make Shakespeare interesting to us or what? Is it possible to be radical on this level? Is this not what the Surrealists attempted with all their games? Is this not what all those 20th Century "bachelor machines" were about? And in the end all those games seem to rest on form (style and branding...) -- not content. The form, in those cases, is the content (and vice versa). In terms of content Lonelygirl15 is not at all radical but in terms of form it is (for the moment).