Pay for tweet seems a lot like borrowed interest

One of the first things you learn as a copywriter is that borrowed interest is a lame way to engage a consumer. What is borrowed interest? It is borrowing interest from a celebrity or something perceived as interesting, like skateboards or superheros and attaching it to a product with no logical tie. Sex may have a lot to do with a lingerie but skateboards have nothing to do with orange juice.

Now I believe Catherine Zeta-Jones uses a telephone. But I don’t believe she knows anymore about cellphone service than most people. Men may watch Catherine slink across the screen and maybe even think it’s a good spot, but do they really believe her words anymore then the would an unknown actress? Not likely. They may listen, but awareness is another topic.

Borrowed interest worked great in the 50’s. But after awhile people noticed that if celebrities were paid enough they’d whore themselves out for any product under the sun.

What does a band leader have to do with a luxury trailer?
What does a band leader have to do with a "luxury trailer"?

Anyone wanna guess if Michael Jackson ever rode a Honda Scooter around LA?

The strength of social media is about people connecting and informing each other what they really think. Transparency aside, a tweeter paid per tweet about rattle on about deodorant, or cars, or computers doesn’t seem like brand advocacy.

Sure, there are celebrities that people should listen to. @lancearmtrong is one I follow on Twitter and someone I wrote an Oakley ad for in 1996 when he was a former world champion headed to the Olympics. And just before being diagnosed with testicular cancer. He used and still uses the product. Could there possibly be a better advocate for cancer research or the athletic gear he actually uses? My step mother who is recovering from breast cancer finds what he’s done and, and is doing inspirational. Now that’s a brand advocacy.

The best brand advocates aren’t paid for their tweets. They’re people who believe in a product and are sponsored and use it like Armstrong or Tiger Woods who both use Nike.  Or they are the thousands of people that use a product and advocate for it everyday. Ever talked to a Harley owner about Japanese vs American?

Posted on: August 4, 2009, by :