We have all heard that advertising has changed now that the online median has taken control but this piece shows you just how much it has changed over the years. In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Liang Sai, a 27-year-old owner of www.shuijunwang.com or the "water army network" pays people to participate and comment on the web about certain brands. Their main clients are new movies, new websites and some skincare products and they talk about the products in a very indirect subtle way. For example, they would have a comic strip where they talk about the movie in one conversation bubble and when people make good comments about the product mentioned, they would be rewarded. So when people comment on something, they send the link over and the company will choose whether it is good and he will get a transfer of money in his account.
They do not get involved with controversial companies and stay away from trouble. So when a client approaches them, they will first evaluate if it is worth doing or not and then start. Each internet user will get hundreds of yuan for publishing a main article - we call him the "owner" of the posting. Those who reply to or join the discussion or show their support will get dozens of cents. The internet in Asia has more internet users than anywhere in the world and when a product or website is talked about a lot online, it is sure going to get a lot of hits and a company like this can rack in the cash.
Image: Intersection Consulting