Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Louis C.K.'s $5 Stand-Up Special

As the debate over SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) continues to heat up, comedian Louis C.K. has chosen to embrace the challenge of online piracy. Through his $5 download fee for a brand new stand-up special, C.K. is showing appreciation to his fans while encouraging them to be loyal through extending trust, and offering a good old-fashioned worthwhile product. Can you imagine?

In a recent Q&A session on Reddit.com, C.K. tells the difference between how people perceive corporations whose product they are getting for free, and how he plans to be perceived differently by these same consumers.

What will make this "experiment", as he calls it, a success no doubt is the way the offering is marketed. Louis C.K. is a regular guy. He's no tech wiz, but he wants to make his material available to as many people as possible via the Internet. And, of course he'd like to make some money. Though he's not greedy about it. Nor is he mean to his fans who choose not to purchase. Why? Because it's counterproductive.

The website used to download this special is very simple and easy to follow. It uses plain language and clear signage, so that any idiot (including C.K.) can make the purchase with no problem. After clicking on a tab that says "Buy The Thing" the customer is taken to another easy to follow page with a message from C.K. in plain language forgoing the pretentiousness which some entertainers cannot hide. He explains why he chose to make this project easy to obtain (subsequently making it easier for people to pirate), and why he hopes you, the consumer, will choose to pay. He paid for all the production himself, and would like a nominal fee for making you laugh for 80 minutes or so. He doesn't demand you keep it to yourself, and he doesn't threaten legal action if you don't.

This trust will go a long way towards building the Louis C.K. brand in the minds of the audience. No doubt consumers will see him as another hard-working person; one who offers consistently good material and  is appreciative of his fans. Corporations could learn a thing or two about humanizing themselves from such real-life humans.

You can download Louis C.K.'s special HERE