Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Killer Bees!

In a true blending of fiction and reality, we now live in a television, complete with commercials.

Forget about product placement in movies and athletes sporting logos. BzzAgent goes one step further in the advertising game - hiring average joes to insert advertisements into day to day conversation via "buzz".

Imagine standing in an elevator with someone who starts up a conversation about their shoes, or going to dinner at a friend's house and getting a sales pitch about the chicken sausages she's feeding you.

From the Bzz website:
The first priority is to deliver authentic Bzz, or information and opinions, to other people. Of course, this should happen naturally in a cool, unforced way. You know how you can stop listening when you think someone is trying to sell you something? Well, other people do too. Stay natural!...

A BzzAgent watches other people and adapts to them. Keep in mind that you're constantly sending messages to the people around you, from what you say to the products you use. Bzz is an every day part of interacting with different people!...

You're our eyes and ears!...
One thing I'm having a hard time understanding about this "movement" is why anyone would sign up to participate. The advertising company makes money off of the their clients. The clients make money off of sales of their products. The BzzAgents, the one's who are doing all of the selling, are the only unpaid pieces of the puzzle. Even carnies get paid to shill! What gives?

Sure, BzzAgents receive product rewards, but they have to do a hell of a lot of work in order to get them. They have willingly converted themselves into twenty-four hour spokesmodels by buying into the notion that they are part of an anti-advertising campaign. The website refers to them as Volunteer Brand Evangelists.

And, not only will these agents extoll the virtues of Suze Orman's latest book, they will also report back on your reactions and purchasing patterns. Like a government snitch line, all conversations are fodder for The Central Hive. Spooky.

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