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The Eaten Alive Phenomenon in Internet Marketing

December 12, 2014

eaten alive

Eaten Alive was a show that Discovery aired a few days back. If you follow the Discovery Channel, you would have seen quite a build-up to this show. It was supposed to be a 2-hour reality show aired on a Sunday evening where a guy, Paul Rosolie, who is also a wildlife conservationist, was to be eaten by an Anaconda.

The channel did a decent promo and they aired a lot of teaser videos as a build up to the live show. The promos raised a lot of anxiety in the viewers and people were anxious to see what happens when a man is eaten by a snake, live on television.

Just like every other anxious viewer, I too prepared for the show and perched safely in front of my television (after some careful planning for a week to squeeze out the time) to see what unfolds. After 2 hours when I walked out of my drawing room, I was one of the many disappointed Discovery channel fans. Why?

Because nothing of the sort what was being advertised happened on the show.

The show was a flop from the very beginning. The first 94 minutes were nothing but the search for a 25-foot Anaconda, which Paul has spotted some time back in the Amazon jungles in one of his earlier expeditions. Since they couldn’t trace the snake, they had to manage with a back-up snake which too was about 17 feet, but in a man-made setup.

The so-called man-eating part was only the last about 10-14 minutes. The actual disappointment was only waiting to happen. As the snake started to constrict upon the guy, the guy freaked out. His arm was being crushed. He called out for help and the entire show ended.

No man was eaten and nothing of the sort that Discovery claimed will happen, ever happened on the show. There were quite a few tweets all over Twitter criticizing the entire show, but the fact remained that Discovery was able to get a huge viewership and some attention as well.

The Eaten Alive Phenomenon in Internet Marketing

The entire “Eaten Alive” thing turned out to be a big disappointment for me and many others. But there were quite a few lessons I could learn from the entire story, which kind of highlights the extent to which Marketing can go to grab your attention.

A few days back I received a marketing email from a very well known marketer Mark Thompson. Mark is somebody who I respect as an Internet Marketer. But this mail of his was not something I was too much in agreement with. This mail was about some software that could create content automatically. Offlate I found a lot of marketers also promoting this so called patent pending software that could churn out content automatically.

How good do you think this software would be?

I have never had a liking to these kind of auto-writing softwares because that defeats the entire purpose of content writing. You write something to provide value to your reader and that way you build an authority for yourself. But with a software writing content for you, that too automatically extracted from the internet, do you really think the content will be of any value.

The case is totally different from an article spinner which actually rewrites content using synonyms and similar words. Hence the content pretty much remains the same but is re-written in a slightly different language, voice or, tense.

I felt Mark shouldn’t have promoted this product, but I am sure he will have a different opinion to it.

After watching the entire farce “Eaten Alive” show, there was one thing that was very evident. Marketing doesn’t look at what is right or, wrong. It aims at just one thing – does it meet the objective.

So in Internet Marketing, the objective is to make money and hence it just doesn’t matter if you are promoting the right thing or, not. You can promote anything so long as it makes money.

What will differentiate you from the rest of the crowd is what you promote. It is your choice if you wish to promote something of no value and loose your dedicated fans like the Discovery channel or, be true to yourself and to your followers and keep them for life.

What The Eaten Alive Story Teaches us

There is more to it than just marketing here. For a minute look at the entire eaten alive story from the perspective of the viewer. A viewer like me who is a severe critic as well was also bought into the promotions that Discovery did for the show. Though I came out disappointed, I should admit the fact that I was sold into the marketing that they did.

There are a few things noteworthy here.

  • People are interested in things that defy norms. If you are able to create something that does this, you will be an instant success
  • Teasers work well in generating interest. This is something that most successful internet marketers do when they run pre-launch campaigns for their big launches.
  • How you plan your promotion is extremely important and plays a decisive factor in prepping people to check out your product. The success of the product then depends entirely upon how useful it is.

Some of these things are basics that we often miss out in our marketing strategy. If you are planning on creating a product, then these might surely help you.

Do tell me your thoughts about this article by commenting below.

Watch a glimpse of what happened on the Eaten Alive show in the below video, just in case you are interested.. 🙂


Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

About the author 

Dilip Kumar  -  

My name is Dilip. I am a fan of the internet and love the many opportunities that the world wide web provides. If used constructively , the internet can give you an opportunity to lead a life free of the 9-5 treadmill and will be able to give more time to your family members. Read about internet entrepreneurship at my blog.

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