Monday, July 02, 2007

Buzz or hype?

A few hours ago, a commenter who identified himself only as "nick" left a comment on my post about The Dark is Rising movie. In my post, I had expressed concern about the changes made to the movie, leaving very little of the original story intact. "nick" expressed his opinion that the movie would be bigger than the book. Fair enough. He's entitled to his opinion, and unfortunately, he could be right.

But then "nick" gushed about a new MTV reality show about the lives of six interns on The Dark is Rising set, including a link to the MTV web page about the show. Something about his post set off alarm bells in my head; my first thought was that it was an attempt on the part of either the movie marketing people, or more likely, MTV, to artificially generate buzz for the movie or the reality show. When I read that J.L.Bell has had similar comments on his The Dark is Rising posts, I felt fairly certain that this is a marketing stunt.

"nick" has since responded to my cynical reply to his comment, expressing his outrage that I doubted him. He claims to be a movie critic, but his poorly written posts and anonymity seem to belie that. But, I could be wrong. He could really be a movie critic, or a teen excited about the new movie and related reality show.

If it is a marketing stunt, though, it's likely to backfire on them. I believe that teens today, having grown up in a marketing-saturated environment, are sophisticated enough to be able to tell the difference between real buzz and marketer-generated hype.

I'm curious: has anyone else had similar comments posted on your blog?

You can read my discussion with "nick" in the comments at this post.


Anonymous said...

I haven't had any comments about this, Sheila, but I do get comments sometimes that are really an excuse to link to some other commercial site. I'm not talking about pure spam - the person will address the post, but then go on to reveal some agenda. But I haven't seen anything quite like you describe. I'll be following up to see how the issue develops.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Jen. I could be wrong about it, but it just seems odd that someone (or more than one person) is going to the trouble to seek out Dark is Rising posts around the blogosphere and comment about the MTV thing.