Posts tagged ‘brand reputation’

New use of Twitter: brand apology management for bad advertising

We all know brands have been making some forays into social media an networking platforms.

Apart from monitoring the twittersphere for spotting trends, and buying ad space there also seems to a new use: personalized brand reputation management.

Today, Adage’s Chris Abraham reports that he was contacted by the Director of Social and Emerging Media of PepsiCo, via Twitter apologizing for some inappropriate advertising Chris had complained about previously.

Here is the quoted Tweet.

I saw your tweet and I just wanted to make sure I responded personally. We agree this creative is totally inappropriate; we apologize and please know it won’t run again. Also, thanks for the feedback and the Digg, it is important to discuss these types of issues.

My best friend committed suicide and this is a topic very close to my heart. So again I offer my deepest apologies.

Feel free to follow-up via twitter to me – @boughb or Huw – @huwgilbert or respond to this email.

Thanks, Bonin

It’s safe to assume that we need to be prepated for more of this. Not only do we have to listen more closely to what really moves people in the context of their daily lives to avoid creating advertising without a human purpose in the first place, but we also have to be ready to have systems, process and people in place that deal with people’s expectations and outrage when brands do mess up their communications.

In the case of Chris, the apology worked, and it’s a no-brainer: using the personal nature of social media does have more oomph than a stale public apology from a faceless company.

December 5, 2008 at 6:02 pm 5 comments

Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates

As part of a US$300 Million+ ad campaign, Microsoft engaged Jerry Seinfeld to do a commercial with Bill Gates. The commerical takes place in a shoe shop. It’s quirky, geeky, and well, actually, somehow honest about Microsoft.

Just a few weeks ago I had a discussion with Tom Acland, on why the hell tech brands (such as Dell, for example) try to be as cool and suave as Apple, when, in reality, they can’t pull it off. They come out with advertising and products that reek of copycat advertising and product strategy, which is not credible, and, even worse, kills the good stuff those brands do have. I guess their inability to develop their own strong brand purpose that is rooted in what people need and like about their brand creates a sense of reactive copying of another brand’s recipe. Problem is, you can’t copy Apple’s product and marketing innovation, you gotta come up with your own!

So how do you respond to Apple’s PC vs. MAC commericals when you are Microsoft?

I think they did a good job with Jerry (who somehow is a geek, too) and Bill does a good job of personifying Microsoft’s geeky brand character. After all, Microsoft is modeled after him, no point in pretending it’s something else. It has personality and of course, it has Jerry’s odd humor to transport it. Plus, it features little clues to Bill Gates trivia, such as a real (grinning) Mugshot of him in 1977 when he was arrested in New Mexico for a traffic violation, on the customer loyality card. Or, naming the shoe “The Conquistador” (repeated in Spanish by a Latin American family), as an obvious innuendo to Mircosoft’s corporate take-over plans. Nice.

I do think this might help Microsoft’s brand reputation in that it actually is truly a Microsoft thing to do. It’s honest, yet funny, and for once, doesn’t bombard you with boring product USPs. Microsoft personified, will still be the geek at the party, but at least true to himself and competent in his own right.

September 5, 2008 at 11:56 am 3 comments


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