In June 2006, Bree, a 16-year old teenager also known as lonelygirl15, took the world by storm by broadcasting herself on YouTube. Bree, talked about her life via videoblogs (vlogs) and quickly became an online celebrity. So many people viewed her show that it soon eclipsed the popularity of many television shows — as well as gaining a large following.
As her popularity continued to grow she spawned numerous copycats. Also, due to the professional-quality of her videoblogs, people began to wonder about their authenticity — was this Bree’s real life or was she acting out a part given to her by a Hollywood studio? People began to dig into her background. Eventually it was discovered that this was, indeed, a hoax. Bree, was really a 19-year old, American-New Zealand actress by the name of Jessica Rose and her friends were really a group of struggling film-makers.
Jessica Rose not only made herself famous as lonelygirl15, but increased the visibility of YouTube as a broadcasting medium. Later in November, Google purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion in Google stock.
Here are just a few of the news sites that tracked her story:
Currently, her lonelygirl15 show and its spin-offs are running on YouTube (where it is currently viewed #2 all-time), MySpace, Bebo, etc. All of this has helped to catapult her acting career and now, she is in the new ABC Television show Greek.
This is an example of using a pseudonym to put in motion the hype, marketing machine. The use of pseudonyms are nothing new. Daniel Lyons, an American writer and senior editor at Forbes magazine, used the pseudonym “Fake Steve Jobs” to post from his blog what the real Steve Jobs would do.
His readership has numbered into the millions. It was so popular that “At the The Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital technology conference, the real Steve Jobs was quoted as saying “I have read a few of the Fake Steve Jobs things recently and I think they’re pretty funny.” During a later joint interview, Bill Gates quipped that he was not Fake Steve Jobs.” – from Wikipedia.
Before the identity of Fake Steve Jobs was revealed, Fake Steve Jobs ranked 37th in a Business 2.0 article entitled “50 Who Matter Now.”
Samuel Clemens, most noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which has since been called the Great American Novel, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, is more well-known by his pen name, Mark Twain, than his real name!
This is part of the marketing engine. If you add a little mystery to your presentations, you have also added intrigue. By nature, humans are curious creatures. Realize this when you prepare your marketing and advertising campaigns.