Superman has taken over MySpace’s homepage, in what was likely a lucrative deal for MySpace and a smart move for Warner Brothers — mostly.
WB is certainly capitalizing on MySpace’s prime homepage real estate, with an appropriately participatory marketing program that invites fans to upload their own superman pictures. And fans have indeed uploaded some fun pictures and made “friends” with Superman. (Although 25,000 out of 75 million users doesn’t seem like a high penetration for participatory involvement with the ad campaign.)
What’s interesting is what you find when you click past the cherry picked pictures on the main Superman page to see all of Superman’s friends, where, of course, you see MySpace denizens in all of their unwashed — and in many cases scantily clad — glory (including the ubiquitous “Tom”).
When you give your brand over to a community that controls its own images, this is what you get.
It will be interesting to see whether companies like Time Warner think this is a positive aspect of what they paid for.
It would also be interesting to compare the results of the MySpace marketing effort with the Superman TV channel on AOL Television, which could prove to be an actual example of the fabled but never really seen AOL Time Warner synergy.
To put it more plainly, this is user-generated content vs. “professionally produced” content.
Which would you rather pay for?