8.16.2010

Now Tweet This

Back in July, Calvin Klein launched a billboard ad in Manhattan, which featured a QR code (see below). As soon as the billboard went live, so did the comments on Twitter. For days, the CK code dominated the "conversation" on Twitter among 2D barcode followers, enthusiasts, marketers, advertisers, etc. But as all of this was taking place, what really caught my attention was Calvin Klein's total absence from the Twitter conversation for days, if not weeks, after the billboard went live. Actually, for as much as I monitor Twitter, not once have I seen or read a Tweet by someone from Calvin Klein, and I wonder why.

If a company had the power to learn in virtually real-time what consumers thought of an advertisement or promotional campaign, product launch, etc. then wouldn't you think that the company would want to tap into that power. If Calvin Klein had no presence on Twitter then maybe, maybe, I could understand their failure to participate and become engaged in the conversation, but they do have a presence and host their own Twitter page. Because I do not work at or with Calvin Klein or its agency, I have absolutely no idea as to what the strategy was, or is, as it pertains to Twitter communications, or social media communications in general. So, again, I ask, why the disconnect?

It's not that I believe Calvin Klein needed to be on Twitter to defend the campaign, because there was more than enough negative things said about it, but because it just seems as though the experience people had with the campaign was less than ideal (e.g., many wrote that they could not scan the code and others were extremely disappointed with the video that the code resolved to) and I would think a company would want to make amends with its customers, prospects and or fans. Maybe I am over thinking all of this and Calvin Klein knows exactly what they are doing to build a buzz around a campaign, but it will be interesting to see what happens the next time, if at all, CK decides to launch another 2D ad. Your thoughts?

Tomorrow, I'll get back to posting some new campaigns.

1 comment:

  1. The sooner both Brands and Consumers recognize that "social media" is really nothing more than "social advertising," the better for both.

    Does anyone remember the excitement and value when the "Remote Control" was first introduced? We could avoid TV ads; or, TIVO which took this to another level Now, with "social advertising," it's as if everyone has become a Brand Lemming.

    /rant

    To your specific point: It is inconceivable that a major Brand does not monitor the "social advertising" channels that exist. Even minor Brands need to monitor the conversations that go on. But, the determination to actively engage is something else. Here's the conundrum:

    "Social advertising" channels require a heck of a lot of one-to-one engagement. It's economically unfeasible. We live in the day and age of automation, and "social advertising" is an anachronistic throw-back to an earlier day. It's not scalable or economically sustainable for high-volume one-to-one engagement.

    If Brands could engage one-to-one, they'd have been doing it by telephone over the years. But, instead, they set up IVR systems doing anything in their power to avoid direct human-to-human contact. Airlines? They charge for human contact (Reservations by phone, add $20 bucks, etc.).

    The seeming exception-to-the-rule is BEST BUY with @twelpforce, using 2600+ floor employees to answer Tweets. How much does this actually cost? Or, is it a pure marketing ploy and expense to give the illusion of "we're humans, we care?" Look at the responses? Any semi-intelligent "bot" could do the same, for a fraction of the cost (take your human knowledge and digitize it, pretty simple stuff).

    So, your posting and question around CK may mark a tipping point for "social advertising," where it's inability to deliver one-to-one conversations (with humans), for most Brands, is now evident.

    Plus, at some point, let's hope that Customers decide that hanging out in an advertising channel (Twitter) is about as enlightening as watching infomercials on a Saturday afternoon.

    I suppose that the irony here is that the phrase "there's no such thing as bad publicity" may continue to be more true than not. Even if CK got alot of negative Tweets, they had customer's engaged and talking about their Brand. They aren't going to "lose" anyone due to a non-resolving QR code. They still get the buzz, which means that social advertising is working for them.

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