Social Media: Saatchi’s Screw Up

“Toyota’s now disastrous foray into social media offers a demonstration of what skills an agency needs to play in that space. It’s now obvious that PR expertise is not an optional extra that ad agencies having a bit of a dabble in social media can do without. Although advertising has always had the potential to be controversial, for social media that possibility grows exponentially and that risk needs to be controlled. And as Saatchi & Saatchi has demonstrated, it now goes without saying that you actually need to understand social media before you start. You can’t start learning on the client’s time.”
I won’t bore you with the details, as the above post is very detailed … and this graphic is very telling …
There have been a few comments flying around to the effect that “any publicity is good publicity” – a notion I reject. Toyota doesn’t have an awareness problem … but it may have a perception problem. Something like this can only have a negative impact on the latter.
In mitigation, at least Australia is a small-ish territory (Pop. 22MM) , and I don’t think many of Toyota’s prospects will have been exposed to this (in Australia or elsewhere) … except us social media nerds that is …

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Twitter: Top Social Brand, New Agency

If sheer volume of conversation is any indication, Twitter is the hottest brand in the market. Twitter dominates a tech-heavy list of brands in our March 2009 Social Radar Top 50. The Social Radar Top 50 measures the most social brands by the number of unique topics of conversation. These brands are top of mind for consumers and bloggers today — Social Radar determined rankings according to the number of individual websites with at least one post about each brand to accurately capture the brand’s reach across the web.
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Carri Bugbee, the PR woman behind some of the much talked about twitter marketing of ‘Mad Men’, is to build a Twitter-based ad agency for media and entertainment companies. Bugbee, owner of Big Deal PR, was the face behind the Twitter account of ‘Mad Men’ character Peggy Olson, which helped create additional buzz for the critically acclaimed AMC series. Bugbee won a Shorty Award (in reference to the 140 character maximum used by Twitter), which rewards the “best content producers on Twitter”, last month for her tweets as Peggy Olson, who rose from being Don Draper‘s assistant to a copywriter in the Madison Avenue 1960-set drama.
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Screw-Ups: Zombie Treasure Hunt, Snckrz

A marketing stunt involving a “treasure hunt” for convincing-looking human remains across central London has gone awry, according to organisers, with a number of bloodied body parts (and chicken livers) going missing. The stunt was orchestrated by Monument PR to promote tomorrow’s Friday the 13th launch of console game ‘Resident Evil 5′, a zombie and gore-focused title. The stunt involved a treasure hunt in which around 50 members of the public had to retrieve various legs, arms, heads and torsos from a number of secret locations.
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Mars forces Poke to shut down Snckrz site
Mars has forced the digital agency Poke to shut down an unauthorised website that encouraged users to create their own logo for the chocolate bar Snickers. Consumers could type whatever slogan they wanted on to the site, at http://www.snckrz.com, and the words would appear on the logo on the front of a Snickers bar.

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