Here (from Australia's Mumbrella) is a great case study of the dangers of letting your tradditional agency (in this case Saatchi & Saatchi) design and run a Social Media campaign.
This comes back to the point I blogged about before - earned media requires a differnt mindset from bought media .... Toyota and Saatchi & Saatchi lerned this in public.
"......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.
For Toyota, I still think that running a live social media pitch with the five competing campaigns was a good thing. Even without this week’s events, it will have learned a lot. And by doing it in the public arena, the entire marketing industry got to learn too.
Where it went wrong was in giving too much leeway to an agency with little apparent social media experience and seemingly too little risk control to accompany that.
As an aside, it was interesting to note that another agency on the shortlist was Oddfellows, a long term partner of Toyota. A traditionally based agency, Oddfellows didn’t have the hubris to claim to be able to understand social media on its own. It partnered with social media agency The Population.
Saatchi & Saatchi apparently decided it could fly solo. Rather like many media planners think they’d make a good creative, I wonder if Saatchis thought social media was easier than it was.
It began to go wrong for Saatchis very early in the process. For starters, a film competition is such a tired idea. There was no twist. The brief was simply: make a film featuring a Yaris, and win a relatively small amount of money.
The accompanying Facebook page felt that it was being moderated by somebody who had just discovered the internet, and was catching up on the last few years’ memes. It posted links to the likes of the OK Go treadmill music video, the Johnnie Walker Robert Carlyle ad and “Guy catches glasses with face”. All great virals, but also familiar to anyone who’d spent much time online in the last year like the target audience. It didn’t position the Facebook group as somewhere to go to catch the latest and hottest.
No wonder then that as rival agencies’ Yaris campaigns began to get up stream, the Clever Film Comp got stuck on the grid. Facing the embarrassing prospect of no entries, the agency abandoned the idea of genuine user generated content, and with it what many would consider social media authenticity.
Subject: Clever Comp
Hey creative people
I’ve got something that you’ll (or your housemates, brothers, sisters, artistic friends etc will) be interested in.
It’s a film comp in aide of promoting Toyota Yaris.
“A film comp? I don’t have the time!” you may say, but listen up. So far, NO ONE has entered and it has been open for more than 10 days and closes 1st December. Voting is done on hits and comments so if you’re in first you have a huge advantage. And you don’t have to make an ad, just put a Yaris in somewhere a la the ‘number 8′ or ’spring’ in Tropfest or something
First prize is $7,000. $3,000 for second and $1,000 for 3rd. At this stage, you could enter a picture of your cat playing in his kitty litter and win 7 grand.
Details are in the attachments. If you win, I’d love an all carbon fibre road bicycle for Christmas.
As a result, this skewed the entries. If you promote the competition as an ad agency to your production house contacts then what you’re going to get back are slick would-be commercials, rather than short films. This was, as we now know, to prove important.
It certainly suggests that by this point the agency’s aim was to avoid the embarrassment of having very few entries for its contest, rather than to run an authentic, engaging competition.
.... " more