Durex condoms' social media strategy goes wrong
The brand falls into a Facebook pitfall after leaving itself open to pranksters.
Durex probably thought it had hit upon a brilliant social media campaign for a new emergency condom delivery service -- at least until the campaign spiraled into odd territory.
Unfortunately, the vote was apparently seized upon by Internet pranksters, who gave the most votes to Batman -- as in the conservative Muslim province in Turkey, not the superhero. (No doubt the shared name helped win many of the votes.)
Meanwhile, some locals aren't too happy about the campaign.
"I'm Kurdish, and I know how we are, so this is impossible. Our culture is religious," Abdurrahman Temelli, a sustainable development consultant from a neighboring city, told Bloomberg.
But for Reckitt Benckiser Group (RGPBF), which owns Durex, the campaign is just another example of how marketers sometimes fail to predict the ways social media campaigns can go awry.
In the condom case, pranksters hijacked the campaign, but some efforts to reach out to consumers have turned out much, much worse.
Last year, McDonald's (MCD) pushed Twitter users to write about fond experiences at the restaurant under the hashtag #McDStories. Instead, consumers wrote gems such as, "Ordered a McDouble, something in the damn thing chipped my molar." The restaurant chain shut down the campaign just a few hours later.
Then there was the NRA's American Rifleman, which tweeted, "Good morning, shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend plans?" the day of the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting. Sample reply, "Yeah, just gonna mourn a bit. And you?"
Durex could have avoided the whole mess if it had offered a multiple-choice response rather than allowing Internet jokers to write in any city they wanted.
As for SOS Condoms, the service won't be offered in Batman or anywhere else, a Durex spokeswoman told Bloomberg. She added that the condom maker's social media efforts are moving "on to a new sphere."
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
She said, "Depends on what's in it for me.
That's why Corporations shouldn't be letting Social Media involved in your marketing. It takes only one person to start a ridiculous comment to let others join in. Look at the responses you get on now. Just because someone is allowed free speech doesn't mean you want them to make decision like this.
When will people realize there's a place for Social Media and that doesn't include in EVERYTHING!!
You can just hear the panties bunching....
gah this world/society/country whatever you want to say is so effed up!
Moving "on to a new sphere" ? Is that adspeak for We packed the pooch on this one. Lets go see what's going on at Chrysler.
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