Brands and Entertainment: KFC and Oprah, J&J and Private

KFC reportedly was caught unprepared for the onslaught of customers trying to redeem coupons for free servings of its lower-calorie grilled chicken items after the offer got a plug from talk show host Oprah Winfrey. The Yum! Brands unit Web site couldn’t handle the number of requests for coupons, and patrons were not able to redeem them at some locations, some bloggers reported.
kfc oprah
Alloy Media and Marketing, known for transforming its books for young readers into movies and TV shows, is set to launch a new online video series based around its “Private” novels, which follow the adventures of a girl detective at an elite New England boarding school. Alloy has created a participatory online reality show that will serve as an audition for the scripted “Private” series. Four Johnson & Johnson brands will have a part in both shows, via brand integrations.
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Social Media: Listening, tweetdoubler

Using Social Media to Listen to Consumers
If the social-media sphere attacks your brand, do “real people” hear the screams? Not likely, according to surveys that indicate marketers shouldn’t rush to quiet every micro-outrage that sweeps across the web. Last fall, Johnson & Johnson‘s Motrin broke creative of a mom complaining that wearing your baby “in fashion,” via a sling, can cause back and neck pain. It offended some in the social-media sphere, and an army of Twittering moms got the brand to yank the ad and issue a mea culpa on its site. But, according to a Lightspeed Research survey, almost 90% of women had never seen the ad. Once they saw it, about 45% liked the video, 41% had no feelings about it, and 15% didn’t like it. Even fewer, 8%, said it negatively affected their feelings of the brand, compared with the 32% who said it made them like the brand more. Was Motrin’s decision to yank the ad and apologize the right one — even if it made the problem go away?

Perplexing and unfunny April Fool from Razorfish Sydney.
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Brands: Power, Damage and Woolworths

Companies that lower the prices of their products during the recession may risk damaging long-term brand perceptions because suspicious consumers assume something is wrong with the product or brand if it’s being discounted, according to a study from The Futures Company.
depression advertising
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Social Media: Waste of Time, Waste of Money, Kills Campaigns?

… just a few things that came up today …

social-media-waste-of-time

Is Social Media Marketing A Waste Of Time?
Well, someone thinks so: “Social media is the next big thing! No, it’s the big thing! It is here, now, and it is big! Let’s face it, if you’re not aboard the cluetrain to social media marketing city, you’re sitting on that station alone!”

P&G’s McConnell Not Sure Marketers Belong on Social Networks
Ted McConnell, general manager-interactive marketing and innovation at Procter & Gamble Co., said social networks may never become a natural advertising medium — in part because the content on social nets and what is in general characterized as user-generated media may not be media at all. In a talk at the Digital Non-Conference in Cincinnati, McConnell said: “Media is something you can buy and sell. Media contains inventory. Media contains blank spaces. Consumers weren’t trying to generate media. They were trying to talk to somebody.”

How Twittering Critics Brought Down Motrin Mom Campaign
Johnson & Johnson did manage to offend some mothers with an online and print campaign for Motrin that implied moms carry their babies as fashion accessories. But was it a genuine groundswell that felled the effort — or an alliance of the few, empowered by microblogging service Twitter? Two days after a new ad push for Motrin triggered an online backlash, J&J’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit is pulling the campaign, from the New York office of independent shop Taxi, and begging a vocal mommy-blogging nation for forgiveness. The campaign, which was featured on Motrin’s website, as well as in several magazines, was an attempt to connect with moms through the common experience (and pain) of carrying a child. But the implication felt by some of the campaign’s more vocal critics was that moms wear their babies as fashion accessories, or because it “totally makes me look like an official mom.”

Pain reliever Motrin recently sparked a firestorm of controversy over an advertisement which attempted to be humorous, sympathetic and perhaps edgy but ended up insulting the very consumer group they were targeting. The offending video portrayed the practice of carrying a baby in a sling as an uncomfortable fashion statement, something that makes a mother look more “official”. The ad copy also implies that such baby carrying causes back and neck pain – which Motrin will help alleviate.This point of view did not sit well with the “baby wearing” mothers of the internet. Over the weekend, Twitter exploded with negative commentary and blog posts racked up attacking the ad. In their defense, Motrin acted quickly and took down the video, but the damage may already be done.
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