Sunday, August 2, 2009

Detri-viral Marketing II: Top Ten Branded Social Media Nightmares

Detri-viral marketing, United Airlines, Guitars, Dr. Thanh, Dave Carroll, Dow Chemical, Dominoes, Comcast, Motrin,Inventorspot, youtube,  Back in March, I did a story called "Detri-viral Marketing: When Web 2.0 Works Against Your Brand". The impetus for that story was a Vietnamese commercial for a tea beverage called Dr. Thanh. Well before I got wind of it, a few crafty creatives had assembled a YouTube video that showed the Dr. Thanh TV commercial playing side by side the Chinese commercial they had copied, nearly frame by frame, actor for actor, wardrobe for wardrobe. It was uncanny. But even more uncanny was the YouTube reaction; A video that had 1000 views when I saw it, grew to 4000 by the time of my first story and now has nearly 10,000. Now that's "detri-viral" marketing. It cannot possibly have been good for the good Doctor Thanh. One YouTube comment on the product itself said, "see your Dr. after you've tried it". So you see it's not just about the advertising itself. Detri-viral marketing goes straight to the heart and soul of your brand - whatever it's core values, or lack of them.

Todays feature comes from and their story, "Top Ten Branded Social Media Nightmares", in which they detail, stumble by stumble, the effect that negative consumer feedback on social media sites has had on core brand values - and it's disheartening, or heartening if your a fan of David over Goliath battles.

My favorite example is a YouTube video produced by a professional musician, Dave Carroll, and his band after United Airlines broke his guitar. Failing to be properly compensated for the breakage or to receive any empathetic treatment from United employees, the musician told the last employee he dealt with, a Miss Irlweg, that if they didn't fix his guitar, that he would make three videos documenting the experience and put them on YouTube. His first video, called
"United Breaks Guitars" now stands at over 4.5 million views - and it's a damn funny video as well. See it below. And make sure you turn off the music in the podcast here, in the sidebar, before you do.

A YouTube reviewer added this comment: "It has been a PR disaster for the airline, which has seen its share price plunge by 10%, wiping $180m off the company's value. WOO!! But United Airlines say they would like to the video use for training purposes to ensure all customers receive better service from the company in future. "

And well it should have been a disaster for the airline. They reacted horribly. And Dave Carroll? He wasn't so famous before the incident, but he certainly is now - and selling more records I'm sure. He's actually very good, and funny as well. So go ahead big brands. Step on a little guy and see what happens. You can't Tweet fast enough to stop it.

The story goes on to outline other social media fumbles by brands as notable as Dow Chemical, Comcast, Dominoes Pizza and pain relief medication, Motrin. The Dominoes Pizza video has only a somewhat modest 39,000 views, compared to the 4.5 million for Dave Carroll, but considering the relative sizes of Vietnam vs. the United States, that makes the Dr. Thanh viewing at 10,000, a real detri-viral sensation here. Give the whole story a look. It's detri-viral marketing in action and it's coming to a big dumb brand near you!

For more on digital marketing and social networking see:
Xing vs. LinkedIn: Round II
Trial and Error: The New Normal
What's Wrong With My Social Networking? Xing vs. LinkedIn I
Low Tech Germany. Who Knew?
Advertising People and Blogs
How to Write the Best Blog in the World
What If Gutenberg Had a Blog?
If Blogs Are Free Does That Make Them Worthless?
Detri-Viral Marketing II: The Top 10 Social Media Blunders
Bright Lights, Big Internet and the WWED
Saigon Digital Marketing Conference Successfully Avoids Plumbers Convention
A Tale of Many Marketing Conferences
Detri-Viral Marketing I: How Web 2.0 Can Go Against A Brand
Marketing Predictions for 2009
Barcamp Saigon 2008
"Ignore Everybody" is Born: A Plug for Hugh MacLeod
Are the Bloggerati Missing the Market? Asia has Risen,
Into the Gapinvoid - Web 2.0 Social Networking Born 20 Years Ago

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