Thursday, 13 November 2008

The Pirate's Dilemma

The 1st speaker at yesterday's Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) conference was Matt Mason, author of The Pirate's Dilemma. Matt is an ex-pirate radio DJ turned author, consultant and soon to be programme maker.

He talked around 3 main concepts:

Brands feed off pirates. Just as Capital Radio and Kiss (an ex-pirate itself) feed off the pirate stations in London, iTunes copied Napster. On which point Steve Jobs said, "if you want to beat the pirates compete with them." Also talked about YouTube as pirate TV which in turn TV feeds off. I also liked his point that if you are young with something to say you are no longer limited to forming a band, you can set yourself up on YouTube."

Abundance is better than advertising, This is about using the audience to spread the message by providing them with an abundance of reasons and incentives to do so. He talked about how a pharmaceutical brand called Novartis gave away drugs in Thailand and India and improved its brand image in a way that advertising had never been able to achieve. He described how the producers of Heroes negated the activity of DVD pirates by creating so many income streams - the show, merchandise, publishing comics on and off line, licensing, iTunes and Hulu and integrated advertising - that it made $50m profit regardless of piracy. As an aside, illegal movie downloads are hurting the business of DVD pirates.

Product at the centre: this was a recurring theme, marketing which placed the product at the centre of a narrative of stories, communities and content. Grand Theft Auto 4 being an example where you can play the game against your mates then post a film of your race, cut to your own music, on YouTube where only your micro-community of 10 will ever watch it. Of course, this is replicated a million times over around the world.
Find out more about Matt here.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The whole IAB conference was great - really inspiring stuff. If you get a chance have a look at it on the IAB site. Keep your eyes peeled for more take outs from it.