Clare Werbeloff: the last word

Clare Werbeloff is just a 19-year-old kid from the Northern Beaches of Sydney with a loud mouth who’s watched too much Fat Pizza. She ran in front of a camera and mouthed off what she has copied from TV ethnic slang without thinking about the implications for others – like the person who was shot and his family.

Here’s Channel 9′s response to the whole incident, explaining what their contract cameraman did and his experience and attitude to Werbeloff.

And here’s the final ACA interview with Werbeloff, (direct to ACA site) where the implications of what has happened start to sink in for her. Talk back radio (like blogging commentary and twitter) can be an amazing measure of the zeitgeist of public opinion. You get a feeling that speaking to so many angry people had an impact on the previously oblivious young girl.

However, regardless of the specifics of this incident (it is now clear none of this was related to a marketing campaign), what disturbs me is that most punters probably don’t care whether they were duped or not. Werbeloff had many supporters and ‘fans’. Has the average media viewer become so use to fake news stories through people ‘punking the news’ or the media itself creating hyperbole or artificial events, that (a) it has become a great game to guess what is real, or (b) no-one cares anymore – news IS entertainment.

For marketers and brand custodians, however, this bizarre, artificial media environment can only last for a short time historically and can only ever be a short-term marketing communications strategy for those that pursue it.

Creating brand-value – establishing communication between users and giving them a reason to recommend your brand DOES NOT START WITH A LIE. Even one that goes massively viral super fast. Further, the more people get sick of being duped (and it’s happening NOW) the more they will attached ‘negative’ value to any brand that involves themselves in any dubious, cloaked, faked, viral, social media campaigns.

For a look at some of the excellent ‘spoof’ videos of Clare that are already out, mUmBRELLA has a selection here.

We now know that the Kings Cross Bogan had nothing to do with a marketing stunt (though, congrats to Tooheys for investing in that OOH poster for the 6beers of separation campaign, who’d have known!!) – advertisers, however, will now be chasing that viral magic that saw Werbeloff and Susan Boyle go balistic over the past few weeks and try to create ‘a story’ that will take their campaigns to space.  Nothing wrong with great, honest, engaging stories, of course – so it will interesting to see what viral plays come out over the next few weeks as agencies push the envelope.

What do you think of brands faking it?

Following on from recent episodes in the social media and marketing world, it would be interesting to have your direct feedback. What do you think about companies creating imaginary events and characters, and then feeding them through social media technologies, as part of a viral campaign?

The poll below is completely anonymous and you can check the results yourself by clicking ‘results’ at the bottom-left-hand corner of the blue box.

A Current Affair does Clare

Just to round this whole thing out and follow up on my last post, here is A Current Affair‘s interview with Clare Werbeloff from tonight. Don’t know what to say, really…

mUmBRELLA reports that:

Kings Cross bogan Clare Werbeloff has already been discussed online more than 40,000 times, according to a calculation released today by social media monitoring company Buzz Numbers.

According to the company, since Werbeloff’s breathless retelling of a shooting that she didn’t actually witness went viral last Monday, at least 41,186 conversations have occurred online on Australian websites.

Although many PR agencies no longer use an equivalent media value figure, BuzzNumbers says that if this metric is used, it would was worth $200,000 in equivalent advertising dollars on Australian websites and social media destinations alone.

The rest of the post is here.

Clare and another social media disaster

Here we go again. As the facts start to leak out, people are hypothesizing as to where the scam involving Clare, Heidi, I mean, Clare, began – and who else was involved. Channel 9? Specialist agency, The Projects? Just herself?

Duncan Riley summarises the events here and asks some questions about how the video came to be on YouTube in the first place, instead of staying with Nine. I won’t bother uploading the original footage because you’ve probably already seen it – if you haven’t, here it is on one of mUmBRELLA’s early posts on the subject, where Tim Burrowes makes an important assertion when the first rumours of fakery started surfacing, suggesting that Clare may well be legitimate saying, “I think we are witnessing a legacy of the Naked / Witchery Man furore of earlier this year.”

Unfortunately for the advertising and media industries, social media set and readers of all things online and off, this was another set-up. How contrived and orchestrasted by the corporate sector it was, is still to come out. The two places to watch are, A Current Affair this Monday night (they have apparently secured an interview with 19-year-old, Clare), and Media Watch, later the same night.

[Update] – Clare Werbeloff is just a 19-year-old kid from the Northern Beaches of Sydney with a loud mouth who’s watched too much Fat Pizza. She ran in front of a camera and mouthed off what she has copied from TV ethnic slang without thinking about the implications for others, like the person who was shot.

Here’s Channel 9′s response to the whole incident, explaining what their contract cameraman did and his experience and attitude to Clare.

Regardless of the specifics of this incident, what disturbs me is that most punters probably don’t care whether they were duped or not. Has the average media viewer become so use to fake news stories through people ‘punking the news’ or the media itself creating hyperbole or artificial events, that (a) it has become a great game to guess what is real, or (b) no-one cares anymore – news IS entertainment.

For marketers and brand custodians, however, this bizarre, artificial media environment can only last for a short time historically and can only ever be a short-term marketing communications strategy for those that pursue it.

Creating brand-value – establishing communication between users and giving them a reason to recommend your brand DOES NOT START WITH A LIE. Even one that goes massively viral super fast. Further, the more people get sick of being duped (and it’s happening NOW) the more they will attached ‘negative’ value to any brand that involves themselves in any dubious, cloaked, faked, viral, social media campaigns.

For a look at some of the excellent ‘spoof’ videos of Clare that are already out, mUmBRELLA has a selection here.

We now know that the Kings Cross Bogan had nothing to do with a marketing stunt (congrats to Tooheys for investing in that OOH poster) – advertisers, however, will now be chasing that viral magic that saw Werbeloff and Susan Boyle go balistic over the past few weeks and try to create ‘a story’ that will take their campaigns to space.  Nothing wrong with great, honest, engaging stories, of course – so it will interesting to see what viral plays come out over the next few weeks as agencies push the envelope.

ABC use Twitter to join the conversation

Here’s a quick example of how a major organisation can use social media to connect with people simply, directly and honestly: Mark Scott, Managing Director of Australia’s public broadcaster regularly communicates with ‘followers’ through Twitter. A few minutes ago, he send this out:

abcmarkscott Amazing wild weather pics sent in by ABC listeners . Nana Glen shot an artwork. http://bit.ly/2h0yIW #nswstorm

Direct communication with the head of the firm using Twitter.

Ross Dawson launches Influence Landscape Framework

This week Ross Dawson launched the beta version of his latest thinking for 2009, The Influence Landscape, at a lunch seminar organised by The Insight Exchange. Ross has a summary of the lunch / launch here.

Ross comments that:

We are also preparing our landmark Future of Influence Summit (evolving out of the Future of Media Summit), due 1 September – details very soon!

Gavin Heaton (aka the Servant of Chaos) also has a report on the launch at My Venture Pad.

Using Twitter for better PR

Twitter is a simple tool that people have learnt to use in a host of wondrous ways. Using Twitter for PR has become an important way businesses interact with this social media technology.

Twitter can be used to generate knowledge as a PR professional, or it can be used to execute campaigns. Here are some examples.

Generate Knowledge about PR: Goto http://search.twitter.com/ and search for #PRadvice or #PR – this will launch you into the stream of Twitterphiles talking about PR related issues, giving advice, commenting on good, bad and ugly PR campaigns, sharing links to PR blogs, campaigns and sites. It is an excellent way of being thrust deeply into the PR world.

Execute PR Campaigns: The social media and online world is a tricky and dangerous world to operate in. Here is a top ten list of PR do’s and don’ts on Twitter, and some campaigns to remember (ie: AVOID the FAIL) are Witchery’s Girl with the Jacket (not Twitter), The Starbucks Twitter FAIL – and the MARS Skittles campaign that throws up a numbers of questions for future campaign strategists to answer.

And note this post, ‘Twitter now mainstream enough to be basis for lame PR campaigns’ from Silicon Valley Insider.

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