The real magic consists in you being able to convince members of the general public by mattsteinglass
March 4, 2009, 9:34 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

This video (hat tip Andrew Sullivan) caused me to reflect on the moral valence of the distinctions between ’30s-style fascism versus sophisticated modern techniques of astroturfing and viral marketing.

It’s one thing when Improv Everywhere does it. But when it’s applied as marketing — and where the point is not the in-person viral persuasive experience itself but the creation of a broadcast video so that others can be shown a representation of the process of in-person viral persuasion, and thus somehow convinced by synecdoche — that’s something entirely different. The idea is to sell T-Mobile cell service not through clandestine mass-spectacle viral marketing but by persuading people that the product itself is somehow similar to the process of clandestine mass-spectacle viral marketing. In other words using T-Mobile is like being targeted for recruitment by a secret society that wants to manipulate you to their own ends. Very weird.


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