Chat roulette virals – crossing the line?

Ever since chat roulette came about, we at Best of 3 have been thinking of how it could be used for a great marketing campaign. I must admit, I’ve never properly used chat roulette, I’ve been a bit scared to. I’m told that 9 out of 10 connections show a guy playing with himself. I have however been following how people have been using it, and more specifically how marketers have been using it. YouTube means you can experience chat roulette without having to be exposed to the, well the exposers.

The first thing I saw was the piano guy who improvised songs for every new connection. I love it. Apart from the talents of the piano man, watching the peoples realisation that he’s singing about them is fabulous. I could watch it again and again.

The first marketing campaign I saw was on Digital Buzz for a condom speciality shop in Amsterdam promoting safe sex with a message of ‘Don’t play Russian roulette in real life’. A really good use of the medium for promoting a safe sex message, though I’m not sure if it would have led to more condom sales at this particular shop.

Then, the other day, I saw another campaign for a Spanish TV channel who claim to be intense, real and have no limits. I’m not going to link to this video, but you can easily find it by searching for “killer viral”. It depicts a girl being killed slasher style by someone in a scream type mask. The killer then covers the camera and then the end screen comes up with an advert for the TV channel. It’s hailed to be a great marketing campaign that cost only $300.

I’ve been watching horror movies since I was about 5 or 6 years old, I also watched “Escape from Sobibor” when I was very young which was a film based on a true story about the Nazi concentration camps. I understood that the horror movies were fictional, and that Escape from Sobibor was representative of real life. More recently, Dexter has become my favourite monster, and has had me questioning my morals.

However there has always been a lot of controversy over horrific and violent movies and other media and the influence they may have on real life. Personally I think it’s more to do with the individuals, their genetic makeup and their upbringing, but that’s a whole different conversation.

The point I’m trying to make is that despite my background and my views, and despite knowing that this was a campaign, watching it did not sit well with me, it crossed the line. I wonder if a rape scene would have been hailed such a great marketing campaign. I can only imagine what some of the people who came across it on chat roulette must have gone through for those few seconds before realising it was an advert. I remember hearing about snuff movies as a child and watching this video made me think that this disgusting, disgraceful form of entertainment could be resurrected by a new generation.

When I first heard about Chat Roulette, I didn’t think it would last very long, now, I hope it doesn’t last very long.


1 Comment

  1. YouTube Encore - Best of 3

    […] such a site, but this Piano Man is just brilliantly talented. Sarah also wrote a very interesting post on Chat Roulette which made me re-think what’s appropriate or not – and now after reading her post, I […]

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