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moose_blog.png.jpgI’m not anti-character blogs if they’re not lame like Captain Morgan. A clever character blog could be ok if it was well-written and had a reason to exist. But I’ve yet to see one of those. I wouldn’t have minded a character blog from the subservient chicken for example. But moosetopia by the moose logo for Denali Flavors is just dull.
An Overly Solicitous PR Pitch
I got a PR email pitch last week from John Nardini telling me that he writes moosetopia for Denali, a Michigan-based ice cream company that supplies elite flavors to 80 ice cream-making dairies. “News story you are going to hate” was the subject line. Nardini told me the blog would be “talked about a lot at great length tomorrow” (It wasn’t.)
As a PR pitch it was a nice try, but too solicitous to be taken too seriously. I can’t help thinking he told dozens of other bloggers “Before I begin, I just want to say how appreciative I am of your blog. I have learned so much by reading it over the past couple of months and it’s really helped form my thinking on blogging. I don’t always agree with you, but you make me think. :-)”
Nardini wanted me to see “that there is more than a shoddy attempt at marketing here (which you may disagree with) but a thoughtful strategy that while potentially risky, is also one that our consumers will love.”
The blog is supposed to be written by the moose who is the corporate mascot. It says it contains “fun, wacky, inspirational, silly, strange stuff and more.” Not so far! I’d much rather hear from someone who is a professional taster talking about how they come up with new flavors than about an email joke someone sent the moose.
Steven Streight, of the blog Vaspers the Grate called it “one of the worst blogs I’ve seen … a boring stupid waste of time. Fire the blog consultant and the entire marketing department. Morons.”
Really, it’s not that bad!
Paul Chaney at Radiant Marketing said “It is what it appears to be, a fun blog using the company mascot as the spokesperson.” Not much fun so far!
Shel Israel said he was basically ambivalent about it and that he’d leave it to the blogosphere to judge it. One commenter on Israel’s blog said “The idea of a “talking Moose” blog seems fairly inoffensive to me. It also sounds very uninteresting to me.”
Another said “The idea of some codeyed moose telling crap anecdotes in order to sell ice cream is patently absurd. It gets even more absurd once you see said moose whining about what’s being said about it by other blogs.”
Ad Agencies Will Dominate Character Blogs, Sigh
I thought the Dr. Pepper Raging Cow’s ill-fated blog was just done by the wrong people. If it had been handled better, it might still be around. My 5 year-old niece loves Barbie’s blog and wants to products it talks about.
I believe ad agencies will dominate the character blog space, which is too bad because they tend to be heavy-handed jerks who still don’t get the Internet. PR people still haven’t taken back websites from the sales department at most big companies and that’s why there are so few memorably clever Fortune 100 sites.
The blogosphere tends to be elitist, likes to get down on bloggers who have ads on their sites, which is ridiculous. Blogging is like anything else people spend a lot of time and effort on — a way to make money. Either directly or indirectly most bloggers, including this one, want to make money by blogging.
I don’t agree with Steve Rubel that all character blogs are a waste of time. Character blogs will evolve the same way websites have and eventually the cream will rise to the top. Meantime, we can look forward to lots more Captain Morgan’s and boring moose.