Notes from “Top 10 Worst Social Media Ad Campaigns”

This was an enjoyable, voting-enabled panel that featured some of the panelists’ picks for worst ad campaigns on the web. Listen to a complete podcast of the session here. A few of my favorites below:

Molson’s poorly-conceived Facebook contest (slide pictured here) teaches us the following: If you have bad marketing to start with, it’ll be even worse on social media.

Carlton Beer’s “Big Ad” goes viral on YouTube, but no one remembers the brand’s name. Lesson: Integrate your product/cause with social media content. Don’t hide your brand!

HP’s campaign paying consumers to promote their digital cameras, creating what Jarvis called “human splogs.” Lesson: You can’t buy brand evangelism. Instead, you should take that money and invest it in better products/content. Check out the results of this kind of marketing in the YouTube below.

The now defunct, “All I want for Christmas is a PSP” a fake blog by a marketer posing as a consumer, backfired when bloggers swarmed the site and posted hundreds of negative comments. One comment summed it up nicely, “Good job turning consumers off your product.” Lesson: DON’T LIE

A member of the audience asked about the difference between secrecy and lying. Panelists suggested that campaigns with a built-in disclosure plan can succeed in social media. Afterall, sometimes the fiction is fun. There’s a difference between teasing and lying. There’s also a difference between lying and a punchline.

The panel closed the session by noting three basic trends in social media advertising:
1) Not surprisingly, advertisers are acting like asses;
2) Advertisers are trying to fake-out audience by posing as consumers, fans, etc;
3) Trying to corrupt us, taking authentic voice we have online and trying to buy it (Jarvis: “I think pay-per-post is EVIL.”)

Other blog posts on the panel:

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2 Responses

  1. […] recaps of ‘07 from Scott Monty, BFG, Jess Kutch and mine. And a […]

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