Re: AMD's viral marketer tries to make ABT a flogsite
Who is/are AMD's viral marketers today?
Yes, I can't wait to see AMD's Stealth Playbook!
We met Ir0x0r, an owner of a small shop specializing in AMD systems and who also organized LAN parties for ABT. i saw his blog, contacted him and he offered to write for us. Well, as it turned out he was a viral marketer for AMD and he gave us his play book hoping that we would play along. http://www.tweaktown.com/news/12178/thu ... index.html
And he had great contacts which lead us to wrongly assume that he was legit. He actually got an exclusive ABT interview with Niegel Dessau, the Chief Marketing Officer of AMD at the time showing how far their viral went into the company. And as you can see, Dessau is responsible for "targeting" AMD's viral marketing.http://blogs.amd.com/corporate/2009/03/ ... deo-views/
So, web marketers, which would you prefer? Several million whimsical views that abstractly connect to your product brand? Or 500,000 views that hit your bull’s eye audience with a concrete message?
Although viral videos are fun but stealth targeting of tech sites and posters is not. ir0x0r used to post as "AMG_Guy" on ATF forum. He told me that,
If I could say, “Just talk to this person and here’s their contact info”, things would be much easier and more straightforward. But my friends at various manufacturers would really hate it if I started outing them and their comments to the general public.
And he worked actively with AMD to change their presence in the blogsphere, as he called it:
I’d like to write something about what AMD is doing in the blogosphere. Some people think it’s just marketing and doesn’t mean anything and some people don’t even know they are doing it. Intel doesn’t play in that realm in any meaningful sense at all like virtually every other manufacturer. What’s important is that AMD has worked themselves into a very dangerous corner. By blogging and allowing feedback they amass a great deal of info on what consumers want. If they fail to then produce on what consumers want their blogging activities will be exposed as a fraud.
Let's see what ir0x0r, David Makin at Palit, used to do according to THG.http://www.tomshardware.com/news/lan-pa ... ,5005.html
San Jose (CA) - Beginning LAN party organizers often struggle with mind-numbing business details, but that's about to change with Palit's launch of what it calls the "ultimate LAN party resource". The Palitlan.com website, which went live this Saturday, aims itself at helping small LAN parties by providing advice, backend credit card processing and even loaner equipment. Organizers can also apply for valuable prizes for their attendees like shirts and graphics cards.
Palit's David Makin tells us the site is specifically designed to help LAN parties with fewer than 100 attendees. Those events will receive marketing materials like stickers, shirts and graphics cards through the site. "Every party, even if you only have 10 people in your garage, gets something," said Makin.
In addition to merchandise, the website will have an event calendar along with a registration system that can take credit cards. Smaller events often cannot get a credit card machine and spend tremendous manpower on registration, but organizers can now offload that task to the website. There will also be a "party builder" flash application that lets LAN parties draw up table, seats and power requirements. Attendees themselves can register with PalitLan and then upload pictures of their gear and sign up for other LAN parties.
It's not going to be just Palit that is giving away merchandise, other hardware makers are invited to participate. Makin tells us he will share banner space and will match up sponsors to LAN parties. "No real LAN party failed because of the lack of prizes," Makin said, but of course some people attend just for a chance to win a shiny new graphics card.
Companies also want a decent return on their investment - were the prizes actually given out to attendees or taken by event organizers? Did the companies get proper product placement? The PalitLAN site will try to keep LAN organizers honest by requiring them to upload at least 5 to 10 photos of the event and products. . . .
So here is where ir0x0r and AMD worked together to devise their targeted stealth marketing. He is very experienced at organizing these kind of parties and was well-known for organizing many AMD LAN events. The perfect fertile breeding ground for budding shills.
And ir0x0r made sure to ruin ABT's relationship with Intel with his interview with Dessau. When we asked what was happening, he said this:
I vote . . . for taking the obnoxious road and getting as much exposure as possible. Intel won’t be helping us financially so we may as well get into bed with AMD.
By then we had figured it out and he was shown the door. But not before he gave us his viral playbookThe AMD Viral Playbook according to ir0x0r
According to ir0x0r, the perfect candidate for a shill was a young college student. Someone who already was a big AMD fan and someone who was already active at the tech forums. Someone who was "respected" as an alpha male. He would scout them out especially at LAN events which were his specialty and he would give the deserving guy something; perhaps a mid range video card or a CPU.
After the event, he would exchange emails and after second contact was made, would suggest that he "tell his friends" about the experience. He monitored the new potential recruit's posting very carefully to see if their return on investment (RoI) was paying off. If the new guy was just a blabbermouth and bragged about his new prize, he was dumped. If instead, the new recruit started enthusiastically posting about his new AMD hardware, then the email/PM contacts would continue and there would be (mostly) promises of future hardware.
Entire viral "campaigns" were carried in this stealthy manner. And the example of the current one at the time were exemplified by the postings that showed up at several tech forums all about the same time - "My $100 Quad-Core CPU" was their stealth campaign. Several posters started to post at different tech sites almost simultaneously about their success at unlocking the Phenom 550-X2 (and 720-X3) turning it into a Phenom II QuadCore. They actually cut this campaign short when ABT tossed ir0x0r out.
You can see today that the same poster will post here at ABT; post at ATF under another name as well as at HardOCP and OCN (for example). Yet they are pretty obvious by their system specs, the manner in which they post, and the fact that these guys at a higher level are organized. They communicate by email and PM.
It's a simple playbook. Seed the forum posters with hardware and encourage them to talk about it. They made it a science and now Edelman - already experts in Viral marketing and caught making fake blogs - have teamed up with AMD - and their former employees are now Edelman employees.