Warner music had a decent idea. They figured that they’d send out the MP3 of a new band and try to get music bloggers to review the song and perhaps create some buzz.
But it’s always been nearly impossible for brands to try to recreate the buzz created at venues (virtual or real) where individuals and groups are participating in something a bit more heartfelt.
By the end of the process (which included, rather pathetically, some Warner Music folks writing positive comments about the song on the blogs that linked to it), Warner had probably alienated more bloggers than it had attracted.
There is, of course, a simple way around all of this. It’s called sponsorship. Blog readers support their blog writers and want to see them make some dough off of their efforts. So if Warner spread around a few grand and sponsored the targetted blogs, their loyal readers would click on the sponsorship ads and Warner would benefit from supporting the medium instead of trying to manipulate it. It’s really quite simple and it is the secret of how blogs with strong individual brands will make some decent dough in the near future.
Oh, and if you sponsor someone, over time, you’ll find that they are failry positive about your offerings. It’s not a payoff. It’s just human nature.
This all, I realize, ignores one short term fact that I’m sure is not lost on the folks at Warner. Their blog efforts made the NY Times business section and the band they were pushing is (even if slightly soiled) suddenly a household name among music bloggers. Any publicity is good publicity I suppose.
Of course, Vanilla Ice is also a household name…