Are we being played as consumers?

My newest obsession is discovering how social media is used as a hidden viral marketing tool.  I am not a social media user. What started capturing my attention were Youtubers seemingly endorsing products.  I have been watching makeup tutorials for some time now and last year it was very obvious that someone is getting paid.  That carried over to online review as well.  I have noticed that amazon reviews are mainly from people who received the products for free or at a discount for a review.

More and more, I am finding myself trusting information less and less.  Here’s the story that started it all.  Sometime last year, I was curious if any new Gothic themed graphic novels were released.  I came across, Evelyn Evelyn which was touted as a true story.   Below is how the books was promoted by Dark Horse.

eveyln

Enthusiasts of genuine tragedy and celebrity intrigue, gird your mental loins for an authentic tale of unbelievable hardship and epic catastrophe! This wholly true and accurate account details the extraordinary lives of Evelyn and Evelyn, a darling but unfortunate pair of conjoined twins who brave extreme circumstances of calamity and adversity, such as: the bizarre and bloody night of their birth and subsequent orphaning; their early years on a chicken farm; shocking encounters with depraved gentlemen; life in the circus; the terrible fates of their dearest friends; and concluding with the sisters’ rise to international fame via the internet, as told with astounding eloquence by musicians Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley, and documented in gorgeous detail by the artist Cynthia von Buhler.

Within the first several pages, the story is quite extraordinary.  It is almost impossible to believe as it is so tragically intertwined.  I don’t want to give anyway anything in the story because the book is great in a sad and tragic way.  The artwork is stunning and fits the story perfectly.  I would recommend it to another reader in a heartbeat.

While I truly enjoyed the story, it is too weird of a tale to be factual and I had to do some  research.  After several google searches and a very long forum read later, the story doesn’t appear to be true.  In fact, the creators, Amanda Palmer (the Dresden Dolls) and Jason Webley, kind of pissed off an entire fan base over it.

Evelyn and Evelyn is a clever market plan as a means for promoting the album and tour. In one hand it is very creative and artsy but on the other side, dressing up as conjoined twins to performing on stage is pushing the envelope, in my opinion.

It looks like I have fallen down the rabbit hole again in yet another very cleverly planned marketing device to promote a singer.  Last month That Poppy popped up on my Youtube recommend list.  I watched it and liked her music.  It appears that there are many viral performing art type videos produced as a means of creating mystic and intrigue around That Poppy character.  The messages tend to question social media, pop culture and may or may not have deeper meanings behind them.  That Poppy has come under internet scrutiny and have been deconstructed by several other Youtubers.  There is one Youtuber, Joe the UFO, whose analysis are actually quite enjoyable.  Probably more than the short That Poppy videos themselves.

After watching a few of the discovery videos, it is revealed that the producer has done these type of videos in the past with different girl.  Those videos were deleted many years ago are suddenly popping back up in Youtube.  Hmmm.  I feel like I just got played again.  But I do like That Poppy sound and hope that actually produces more music as she has a positive message.

I am in love with this song.  She has some other more pop songs too that are very catchy as well.  This is her Vevo channel

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