Voice Placement: Is Chrome in Bed With Chelsea?

Voice Note. Who calls it a voice note?

If you tuned in for the latest episode of Made in Chelsea last night and pulled the same crinkled expression of bewilderment every time JP freaked out about the drunken “voice note” message Binky sent then don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Mail. Surely it’s voicemail? Or is there something else at play?

First of all, a bit of context. Binky and JP are one of the on/off couples that are officially back on again as things stand, although their relationship is teetering on the brink as they struggle with trust issues that spill over from previous incarnations of their relationship.

This time, it’s the “f*cking rat” (Sam’s words, not mine) Julius Cowdrey whose causing tension by nuzzling in on Binks behind JP’s back. But she’s hardly helping matters. After a flirty camping trip Julius is left with 20 messages on a night out, which gets right under JP’s skin the following day when he goes to confront her.

‘You left voice notes on a MAN’S phone! He FLIRTS with you! And sometimes, you FLIRT back!’

I hate how much I like this shit.

But plots and subplots aside, the thing that really grabbed my attention about last night’s discourse was the incessant use of the term ‘voice note’. JP used it. Binky used it. A handful of other cast members used it.

So what’s it all about?

Whatsapp, or Chrome

The obvious answer is Whatsapp. Sending short snippets of recorded voice messages is becoming an increasingly popular method of conversing and is most likely the source of JP’s contempt last night. But here’s the rub. They don’t call it voice notes. They call it voice messaging.

The former is actually a Google Chrome product which is a speech-to-text service and App designed to run on devices such as Mac OS, Windows, Linux and Chrome OS. Although it’s not technically a messaging service unto itself, it’s not inconceivable that Chrome would be looking to pioneer in that space. Instagram and Snapchat are both moving to other sensory experiences beyond still images and text, and you can expect more of the same elsewhere.

In the first stages, the most effective form of marketing would be to get people talking about it, and Chrome and Chelsea have previous here. Last year Channel 4’s video on demand service, All 4, was part of a big marketing push for Google’s media streaming device, Chromecast. The big-sell feature: Made in Chelsea.

Made in Chelsea – Pioneering TV Marketing

Whether this proves to be the case or not, Made in Chelsea have to be applauded for experimenting with new marketing techniques. If we start with the premise that everything in Made in Chelsea is fake and therefore open to commercial exploitation, then there’s a huge amount of opportunity in this space.

Like most online media, the broadcast world is waking up to the fact that display advertising alone will no longer cut the mustard. We’re now talking product placement, voice placement, influencer marketing, video shorts and more, and consumers should be aware of it.

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