Fakes blogs as marketing tricks

Companies are launching fake blogs: some actually look like blogs but pretend to be genuine ones and hide their marketing intention. Others claim they are blogs when they are just gross imitations.

Heinz is launching its first ad campaign for baked beans in ten years this week.

The campaign revolves around a ‘Superbean’ character who will have his own blog on a specially created microsite.

I aggree with Jeremy Wagstaff who writes: “the blog itself is a travesty of the genre. It’s viewable only in pop-up mode, which I suspect will not work with many browsers. There’s some Flash in there (a bean bouncing around a can), and frames to make the material itself virtually unreadable. The blog entries all carry the same date (today) as far as I can see, and are along these lines:

OK, listen, there’s something I’ve gotta share. I’m worried about your salt intake. Hey, the government’s worried about your salt intake, you’re worried about your salt intake! So what do we do? We cut back on the salt baby. I mean, we ain’t gonna tamper with the taste, don’t get me wrong. But since 2001 I’ve reduced my salt content by 30%.”


Three days ago, Michael O’Connor Clarke found out that a new game called Halo for Xbox tried to create a fake site and weblog which would have ultimately been used to promote the game upon launch.

Rick E. Burner draw the parallel with a similar hoax back in March. This one was supposedly written by a beta tester of the ESPN NFL computer game, from Sega. The tester was supposedly so disturbed by how violent the game is that he started experiencing blackouts during which he tackles his colleagues at work, trashes his own apartment, etc. The conspiratorial tone, footage from surveillance cameras, unauthorized interviews with product managers, hacked rejected clips from TV ads for the product, etc made the success of the blog which blog ended when the game was launched.