Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Friday, July 14, 2006

This Blog Is Fake

Web site for Blues fans is a hoax

If you and I were the only people on the face of the Earth, that would be the only thing we'd have in common
This player isn't real, either

The Blue Revolution, a blog supposedly being written by an somewhat-connected though ordinary, everyday fan trying to keep up with his favorite hockey team, the St. Louis Blues ("I've heard that there is a press conference with the new owners either today or tomorrow at the Missouri Athletic Club. I'm going to go down there and see if I can get in" is how one post reads), is a total fake and is the product of an advertising agency.

If the sub-par writing style-- below the level of a Nike or Gatorade ad ("We will count off every goal scored by the Blues, and count high")-- and the "Copyright 2006 St. Louis Blues" tagline at the bottom of the home page isn't enough of a tip-off to the average reader, then this article from today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch spills the beans even further:

From the same advertising company that earlier this year posted fake blogs about a staged Cardinals "bird-napping" comes a similar ad campaign. Last week, St. Louis-based Schupp Co. distributed everything from T-shirts to wristbands to a banner outside City Hall, all bearing a Web address of ambiguous origin.

"I'm just one Blues fan and the idea of The Blue Revolution is to include all fans," declares a blogger on www.thebluerevolution.com. But the site and its blogger are nothing more than a marketing tool for the hockey team, a fact hidden on the Web site and in Schupp's campaign so far.

"The intention was to make the site look like fans did it," said Mark Schupp, president of the company. "If you come out initially and say this is the Blues' Web site, it would become very commercial."

The site invites visitors to submit comments about the blog entries, Blues-oriented video and additions to the "Fanifesto," all to be approved and posted by the site's owners. Site visitors can download a staged video from the blogger -- an actor -- who "crashed" a Blues press conference.

In March, the Post-Dispatch reported on Schupp Co.'s viral marketing campaign to promote the Cardinals' move to radio station KTRS. Following the phony theft of 12 giant Cardinals redbirds from billboards around St. Louis were fake blogs and MySpace accounts commenting on their disappearance. The campaign was orchestrated by Schupp Co. and St. Louis-based public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard Inc.

"Marketing takes on lots of different approaches, some more subtle than others," said Peter McLoughlin, head of St. Louis Blues Enterprises, a new division of the team that will handle the business operations, including ticket sales.

"We're certainly not trying to hide anything," he said.

But the rumor weed-planting approach can be risky, especially if the advertiser fails to clearly identify itself.

"You run a risk pretending that it's natural, when, in fact, it's manufactured," Plummer said. "You run the risk that you're going to be discovered."


It will be interesting to see if the St. Louis-leaning Deadspin, a fake blog in itself (what, you didn't know?), picks up on this story. The irony would be so heavy that it would likely create a black hole big enough to suck up Will Leitch's ego, if not the Universe or something smaller.

8 Comments:

Anonymous alanah said...

Wow. I hadn't seen this story - thanks, Brushback. There are a few things about this that leave a bad taste in my mouth...

7/16/06, 3:17 AM

 
Blogger Brushback said...

Yeah. I'm not an innocent idealist by any stretch, but when a "blog site" that's written by an ad agency under the auspices of the St. Louis Blues front office is posting rah-rah stuff about "trying to get the ownership to listen to us" and "I'm not a member of the press, so I'm going to try to crash the press conference with my ninja moves"-- it's such an obvious pack of lies to the point of being offensive.

7/16/06, 11:52 AM

 
Blogger gsdgsd13 said...

All that (presumed) money and they couldn't even make it, at the very least, somewhat readable? I bet I'd sell out for less money, and create something better. Just a note to any PR flaks reading this.

Poor Blues. No one blogs about them, and when they finally get a blog, it's a sucky fake one.

7/16/06, 5:41 PM

 
Blogger Brushback said...

Great point-- the Blues are pouring all this money into a blog that sucks far worse than any of the blogs that the rest of us do on our own time for free!

That's frickin' hilarious. I feel much better now.

7/16/06, 10:36 PM

 
Blogger gsdgsd13 said...

I do like the image of a blogger going out and thrusting tacos at passersby, in an attempt to stir up passions for their team.

I've got some days off coming up -- perhaps I'll try that. Go down to downtown Atlanta, give people tacos while yelling "Go Thrashers!" and muttering about how sad it is that Tomáš Klouček never really got a chance, and see how long it takes before I get knifed.

7/17/06, 5:29 PM

 
Blogger Brushback said...

Check out the first five comments on this post, and tell me that they're not a complete fabrication, also.

7/18/06, 10:18 PM

 
Blogger Stormbringer said...

*does a Muttley laugh*

Y'know, I thought it couldn't get any more pathetic than this past season for the Blues.

Boy, was I EVER wrong.

*does another Muttley laugh*

7/21/06, 7:23 PM

 
Blogger Brushback said...

Someone over at Sports Filter posted some very trenchant comments about this sorry affair:

"It's not that it sucks (and oh Lord, does it suck). It's that these assholes could have found any number of people to create an actual blog with some semblance of control over it without it being a complete sham. Instead, they took the slide and forked over dough to a roomful of suits and told them to fake enthusiasm.

Nice to know how much you believe in us, Mr. Checketts.


Beautiful!

7/21/06, 7:59 PM

 

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