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December 01, 2006

On MySpace and FaceBook, Fake Profiles and Sex Sells

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 12/01/2006 02:41:00 AM
Meet Red Passion, a Fake Profiler on MySpace
Companies have turned to the popularity of online social networking sites to help market their campaigns.

Market and research developers have to come to the same conclusion time after time: sex sells. With that knowledge in mind, companies have begun to create fake profiles on social networking sites in order to promote their products.

It was brought to my attention by a fellow writer at my company that an Italian beverage company called Campari was utilizing social networking sites MySpace, Flickr, and YouTube in their campaign.

Red Passion is a glamorous girl living in Milan Italy. She is 28 years old.
Consumers are so visually driven that it comes as no surprise that Campari has created a fictitious MySpace profile for a woman called "Red Passion", who is based in Milan, Italy. In RedPassion's MySpace, she says,
What I adore... Strong and skillful people, tolerance and freedom, the ambiguous side of life, testing... in every sense, excitement and thrill, sharing, seeing and being seen. What I hate... Strictness, simple-minded people, stupidity and foolishness, fear and shame, prejudice, meanness... in every sense and, more than everything, the lack of imagination. This is me, female, from a place you’ll never know. Explore my world...
Both the Flickr and YouTube profiles are similarly constructed and glamorized by photos of Red Passion.

Red Passion is a beautiful, scantily clad woman who enjoys posting pictures of herself on the Internet, which has everything to do with Italian beverage companies. Wait, that has absolutely nothing to do with an Italian beverage company.

That does not seem to matter to consumers as company representatives report that the "Hotel Campari" website received 170, 000 views. In fact, 13.5% of the traffic to the beverage company's site was from social networking sites.

Campari is far from the only company using sex to generate publicity for their company. The Washington Post reported that music and movie downloading site Ruckus created a similar profile on Facebook.

Brody Ruckus, the fictitious character created by the company, created a fake profile on Facebook claiming that if 100, 000 became his friend on the site, his girlfriend would grant him a sexual wish. There was an overwhelming response to Brody's plight, as over 300, 000 responded.

Little did those 300, 000 people know that they were giving a company their email addresses, and would soon be added to countless spam mailing lists.

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