March 28, 2008

Are You For Real, Monica Rockle II: The Updates, the Photo, and… the Haunting?

The epic saga continues…

I’ve received a few messages and comments from upset college women about my Monica Rockle article. They think that I’m harassing one of their own. Please let me assure you that, as a professor, I would never ever pick on a legitimate student doing a legitimate project.

In this case, I didn’t believe the premise or the project from the beginning, and subsequent research appears to support my skepticism. My wife and female friends would also pulverize me if they thought “Monica Rockle” was real. (Considering that I go to the Woody Allen School of Bodybuilding, they could pulverize me pretty easily, too.)

The Photo has been Sourced

Supersleuth Jen R of Busan, South Korea, emailed me the source of the original “Monica Rockle” profile photo that had guys drooling and willing to do her bidding: The U.S. Census Bureau Photo Services section of its Newsroom. You can have both high-res and low-res versions of specimen #04-07-6-10a (aka “Monica”) free for use in your “news media and public information products.” Do Facebook promotions for T-shirt vendors count as “public information”?

And then there’s the possible haunting…

I just noted my daily traffic patterns. The spikes in the chart below coincide with this article. As you can see, I was generating about 50 to 100 views per day pre-Monica. Then I wrote about something people actually want to read. (I really should do more of that.) The eerie thing? Look at what letter of the alphabet those spikes form… Is Monica haunting me?

Monica’s effect on Cool Rules Pronto traffic

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Freddy is the Founder & Creative Strategist of Atomic Tango. He also teaches at the University of Southern California (go Trojans!), shoots pool somewhat adequately, and herds cats. Freddy received his BA from Harvard and his MBA from USC.

7 Responses

  1. An anagram of Monica Rockle is Economic Lark.
    Discuss.

  2. Leave it be Monica in true fact might not be real, Monica might in actually be an alias for Monica lewinsky, and the lalala T-shirt Campaign is just a ploy to generate a case study on what types of people would join such a group and how vastly people could connect in that short period of time.

    If you would like to press on the matter you could start a facebook search group for the women in this photo and do a case study, see how many people claim to know her but I wouldnt waste my time, I am sure she is some where in lala-land!

    -goodluck!

  3. What is your stance on the clarity of the group’s goals? In the scientific method, it seems that the results would be more accurate if it were a typical group designed around recruiting members or promoting something other than this project. The sheer fact that the group investigates viral marketing could easily influence individuals looking at the profile on whether or not to join and provide a false interpretation of this concept.

    Freddy: Excellent point, Greg. I can’t imagine any professor in a graduate program allowing this as a project. Junior high, maybe. College or higher? Not unless the professor wanted derision from the rest of the marketing faculty. As you noted, it would be more valuable to challenge a student to build a following around an actual product, rather than “help me reach 400,000 because my assignment says reach 400,000.” Could a student have generated such a large group based on, say, T-shirts alone? As several people on the page’s wall have pointed out, this is merely a variation of the chain mail concept — “pass this along and let’s see how far it goes” — rather than a test of actual consumer appeal. It wouldn’t even be a valid challenge on “The Apprentice.” This is a ploy, pure and simple.

  4. As a veteran entertainment internet marketing professional, I think you’re on to something here!

    I smell a theatrical tease campaign that’s a cross between a weegie board and statistics. As an experienced etch-a-sketch artist, I’m just kickin’ back waiting to see how they pull of the “O” next in line. It’s fairly easy to get through the “N” and the “I”, but to pull off a statistical “C” , HA! then the truth will be revealed! Any one that can palindrome the reverse statistics of nearly 700,000 people should be a political campaign manager!

    Awaiting the “O” in Venice

  5. I have nothing smart to say, but I wanted you to know I read this and laughed. Ugh, I wish Paris Hilton were coming to Israel so I could get some traffic. Though I hear Amy Weinhouse may be coming for rehab (not the song – for real).

  6. Fully enjoyed both Monica posts – great reads, but also an interesting case study. Love the screenshot, thanks for including it. That dang M proves the point!

    And, the comment about writing what people actually want to read is…well…to steal a phrase…priceless.

  7. scary M in the chart! shes watching you right now, check over your shoulder..

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