The Hidden (in Plain Sight) Persuaders
This article in the NY Times threadlinked above talks about word of mouth marketing a la BzzAgent where normal everyday people can sign up to become a "buzz agent" and quietly and unobtrusively market the company's clients products by just using them, taking them to parties or whatever.
The example given is one of some chicken sausages that on 4th July weekend this year were taken by hordes of secret buzz agents to BBQ's and parties all over the US.
Isn't this the same thing as the Blog "Product Placement" Scheme?
It seems to me that this is exactly the same as the Blogger Affiliates that get paid to talk up products in their popular blogs.
There's a massive hoohah surrounding this as some bloggers take up arms against the scheme for various reasons including the fact that it commercializes blogs at all, disclosure issues and more. In the post linked above I've voiced my scorn of the scheme aswell and added my voice to the angry throng :)
However, reading the NYT article gave me pause for thought. I've not solidified that thought into any coherent opinion as yet but imagine this: That a scheme like that be opened to all bloggers - as widespread as adsense is now. Pick products suited to your blog and write about them...
It's just affiliate marketing of course, but with the right kind of spin and heavy marketing it could provide a real winner for companies wanting to target the online word of mouth which is blogging.