Recently, during my napalm assault on the Animation Schools thread, someone visited my blog and left a very negative and very anonymous message. At first I thought about how silly that was, but then it made me think about something else. If it hadn’t been for that thread message, that person wouldn’t have visited my site. Who cares the reason… THEY WENT THERE! I remember when I happily and positively linked all of you guys on my site. You all thanked me (thank you!), but the site itself didn’t yield any response. The NEGATIVE thread GOT the visible response. So… is bad publicity a bad thing?
For example, (using ScatteredLogical as an example) say I create a web show about how breakfast cereal sucks, and ScatteredLogical and I got into a forum scrap about whether breakfast cereal sucks or not. ScatteredLogical would say how the toon is stupid and I would defend it. Forum members would join in, for or against. The argument could get as nasty as the one Jim and I just had. Couldn’t that encourage others to go and see the show… if only to see what the fuss is about? And then they’d tell their friends, and those friends would tell their friends… Then I could honestly take those hits and say to a network, “Hey, my show is popular. Look at all these hits,” and use those to help sell my show.
Here’s a real life example: The Adult Swim show Boondocks aired an episode where Martin Luther King Jr. came back from a coma. MLK gave everybody a dose of the “horrible truth” (and he used the n-word) and provoked a revolution. Civil rights guy Al Sharpton attacked the show, calling for Cartoon Network to never air the episode again and a public apology. It was all over the news. Couldn’t that motivate some people who have NEVER seen that show to tune in… just to see what the fuss was about? Whether they were offended or not… THEY WATCHED IT. That episode was the highest rated show Adult Swim ever had or something like that.
Here’s ANOTHER real life example: South Park recently aired an episode where Cartman and Bart Simpson talked about how they hated Family Guy. The show made a good point about free speech… but it did involve George W, the American flag, Jesus and pooping, That was on the news too. That episode was attacked by Catholic groups, calling Matt and Trey “money grabbers”. But… how many people tuned in to see that episode for all the hype? Whether they were offended or not… THEY WATCHED IT.
So… as cold and manipulative as it sounds… in the business of animation, is bad publicity bad? Isn't getting attention to our work or projects the ultimate goal?
As you think about that, here’s a quote from Guy Kawasaki, one of the guys responsible for the Macintosh computer and now a successful venture capitalist:
“Your goal is to catalyze passion – pro or anti. Don’t be offended if people take issue with what you’ve done; the only result that should offend (and scare) you is lack of interest.”
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