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Category: Public Relations

Five Questions for FreshBooks

Saul Colt is the Head of Magic at FreshBooks. FreshBooks is an online invoicing, time tracking and expense tracking service designed for creative based professionals and freelance consultants. Saul describes his role as “Supplying the Ah-Ha moments by just being me”. One of those moments…

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The Worst Social Media Ad Campaigns of 2007 (SXSW Coverage)

One of the most entertaining and interactive panels that I attended at the SXSW Interactive Festival last month in Austin, Texas  was The Suxorz: The Worst Ten Social Media Ad Campaigns of 2007. The session asked the audience to vote on last year’s campaigns with the "worst practices" but found it hard to stick to only ten, illustrating the point of how many in advertising and PR are still struggling with social media.

Here’s the breakdown:

Henry Copeland, Founder,
Steve Hall, Publisher, Adrants
Jeff Jarvis, Blogger/Prof, Buzzmachine/CUNY
Rebecca Lieb, VP & Editor-in-Chief, The ClickZ Network
Charlotte Selles, Global Brand Mgr, Beam Global

Round 1:
Selles: Molson Canadian Facebook campaign asked students to send pictures of themselves “using our product” to win a trip to Cancun. “If you have bad marketing to start with don’t even go to social marketing.”

Lieb: Carlton Draught “I think it’s a great movie, but a really bad ad.” People don’t remember the brand. It goes against David Ogilvy 101 “you gotta know what the ad was for.”

Jarvis: Hewlett Packard Pay Per Post “Pay per post is evil”. Moms being paid for blog posts resulted in turning their kids into "shills for HP” and creating a human spam blog, or “human splog."

Hall: Wal-Marting Across America was Edelman’s fake blog about a couple in an RV visiting Wal-Marts.

Round 1 Winner: HP Pay Per Post

Round 2:
Selles: Rahodeb a.k.a. John Mackey, CEO Whole Foods posted negative comments about comptitor Wild Oats on a message board hoping that the price would go down.

Jarvis: Cisco’s Human Network was "another effort to corrupt the blogosphere.” Cisco made their own entry in Wikipedia saying that they invented the “human network.” Chas Edwards from Federated Media was shown on video uncomfortably presenting “conversational advertising” as the basis for the Cisco campaign.

Hall: Coke’s response to the Mentos/Diet-Coke viral video was “this craziness with Mentos doesn’t fit with our brand personality.” Eight months later Coke invited Eppy Bird to Atlanta to perform. They were criticized because they “tried to ignore the fact that they didn’t get it and then call it their own and take all the credit for it.”

Leib: Vespa created an authentic blog with a group of enthusiasts and then lost interest. They stopped responding to inquiries from the bloggers and created negative feedback from neglect. Vespa forgot about the blog and it stayed live, yet derelict with negative comments, for 2 years before it was eventually taken down.

Henry Copeland summed up the lessons learned from round 2 as:

  • Don’t lie.
  • Don’t fake socialization.
  • Go with it.
  • Stick with it.

Round 2 Winner: Cisco’s "Human Network"