Marketing 101: Astroturfing
“The industry is like the f***ing Matrix!” — Big Joe
a PR tactic used in politics and advertising in which actors are paid to display overt and apparently spontaneous grassroots support for a particular product, policy, or event.
“The copyright lobby’s BalancedCopyrightforCanada.ca astroturfing site has added a new mandatory requirement for all users that want to participate in the Take Action items. According to a site user, the site now requires users to send a form letter to their relevant Member of Parliament. There are two letter options – one letter for entertainment industry employees and one general letter.
Surprisingly for a site claiming to support creativity and copyright, the letters do not provide users with the opportunity to even use their own words – the form letter cannot be edited. This is particularly striking given the earlier criticism from some of the same groups on a competing form letter service that offered users complete control over the substance of their letter and merely served as a delivery channel.
Notably, the site has already been subject to gaming from non-Canadians as a random search of members turned up at least one U.S. based record company executive with Warner Music.”
(c) Cory Doctorow – boingboing.net
Look out for astroturfing campaigns disguised as Twitter trending topics, groups on Facebook, Google Hot etc. There are companies you can pay who can do this for you who will make it look like viral marketing. Sometimes they pay interns to enter forums and popular music sites to wax lyrical about how great said artist is. That’s whats known as sock-puppetry (pause).
Honestly, if I was an unsigned artist who wanted to get people to pay attention, I’d probably do it. Except most of the artists that do it are already signed.