Because Coke's My Coke Rewards was performing dismally, some employees - all of whom were expressly forbidden at the outset - were asked to participate in the brand's My Coke rewards online promotions. Seemingly to boost activity on the site, the request seems to have backfired for employees who exceeded a pre-set limit of 2,000 points.
When one employee, Frank Grant, who did what he was told and participated in the program noticed he had accumulated more than 2,000 points and was made aware of the 2,000 point limit - likely buried deep within the fine print, he offered to return the merchandise he acquired from his points. Sounds fair enough, right? Wrong. Rather than rectify the situation in a normal fashion, Coke told Grant to resign or face getting fired. According to the Vellejo Times, many other employees faced the same situation.
Just when you think there couldn't possibly be yet another flavorized Doritos line extension, the funny bunch over at Frito-Lay come up with even more. But this time, rather than creating new flavors, because, like, they've already done them all, they mix two flavors together and call it something new.
To promote this flavorific fusion, Doritos (in the UK) has launched the Doritos Collision campaign, a series of videos that pit flavor mascots against one another wrestling ring-style. There's Feathered Fury, The Griller, Tenacious T and El Zesto.
In addition to the videos, the brand has teamed with Bebo and Endamol's The Gap Year, a web series. Oh, and there's all kinds of social media goodness as well.
- Because nobody talks male impotence (or teen sex) like Americans do.
- Seth Godin is launching a members-only social network for marketers called Triiibe. It's like Fight Club -- for ideas. "Spots are limited and early members get privileges and bragging rights" -- and discount opps for his new book. My God, Seth, who do you think you are -- Obama?
- To Indonesian fans: Alicia Keys is very sorry for doing a gig sponsored by Philip Morris. (So soon after all the goodwill gleaned post-Africa, too.)
- The Scrabulous app on Facebook is officially dead.
There are those who are obsessive about cleanliness. There are those who have a tongue fetish. And then there are brands. Rarely, if ever, do the three entwine. Until now. Courtesy of this branded YouTube video comes something that is simultaneously sexy and gross...not to mention very weird.
Mike's Hard Lemonade is hard up for some social and consumer generated media action having gone down the road of the personalized fake newscast which, like, everyone is doing to the point of absolute boredom. So it's very likely Mike is really really hard right now for Nashville Star contestant Ashlee Hewitt who, on her own we are assured, has written a song about Mike's Hard Lemonade and how a group of girls used to come into a bar she worked at and ordered Mike's Hard Lemonade.
Hmm. And here I thought only rap artists embedded brands in there music. Of course that could simply be because I never listen to country music. Anyway, here it is. Be happy for Mike and his Hard...Lemonade.
Plaid sent over an envelope loaded with swag (which Heehaw Marketing took a picture of so we wouldn't have to) to remind us the Plaid Nation 2008 West Coast Tour is CURRENTLY IN PROGRESS.
The Plaid van's current location: Vancouver. It'll be creeping its way south toward Los Angeles as the weeks progress.
Now that you know, hit the website -- less of a site, really, than a social media orgy -- and try getting the Plaid crew to pay your ailing agency (or your best friend's engagement-impaired company) a visit. Also check out the Van Cam tab where you can play van voyeur from the driver's seat, or the passenger's seat, or roadside, if that's the way you roll.
Some people are more dedicated than others. Or more stupid, depending upon how you look at it. If all it takes to appear in a McDonald's promotion is to rob one at gun point and then spend 12 year in prison, then Tamien Bain is one smart man.
After having held up a McDonald's in 1994 when he was a teenager 14 years ago, Bain spent 12 years in prison. Now he's among five finalists in a MySpace BigMacChant jingle competition for the Big Mac. While he was in prison, he took a liking to music and now, at 29, he just may see some glory after his 12 years of hard work.
Now that's dedication.
Yesterday at San Francisco's Westin St. Francis, Room Full of People held the SWAT Summit, a one day conference which covered the topic of social networking. Topics such as metrics, best practices, user engagement and social advertising were covered.
After Room Full of People CEO Christian Perry gave an engaging overview of Obama's brilliant use of social media as compared to McCain's abysmal use, IDC Research Analysts Caroline Dangson gave an overview of people's outlook on social media and their willingness to allow advertisers mine personal information and online social behavior in order to provide more targeted advertising. Perhaps it was the way IDC asked the question but unsurprisingly, a very low percentage of people said they'd be OK with that.
MediaSmith CEO David Smith presented for the first time his Eight Levels of User Engagement, a detailed look at the buzzword du jour "engagement." It was one of those presentation that was so elaborate and so complete that no summary would do it justice. Besides, I can't remember the half of it but don't fret. He's taking it on the road for six months and there will be a book (or a paper).
- Watch as Starbucks, flailing wildly, stumbles into smoothies.
- A company called Sojern has partnered with Delta, United, Continental, Northwest and US Airways to sell ad space on boarding passes printed off the 'net.
- It's another review site. The difference is, Culture Clique aspires to be the only review site you'll ever need or want. Think of it: review the iPhone, The Dark Knight, Twitter and Ana Karenina all from one place.
- Draft FCB is imploding, and its biggest antagonist is covering it with unrestrained gleeee. (Yeah, with four Es.) Well, what did you expect with nonsense like this?
- JWT keeps its hand in with a warm, fuzzy border patrol ad. Oh look, a little bunny girl on a bike.
America isn't the only place where brands use blogs and bloggers for their marketing needs. Recently, in Brazil, Coke introduced a new drink, i9, and partnered with nine prominent Brazilian bloggers to promote the drink. As part of the promotion, coke redesigned the bloggers' pages and gave each of them miniature refrigerators with a bottle of i9 inside.
As predictable as a fake ad getting submitted to Cannes (and winning), negative reaction to the promotion ensued with other bloggers crying foul and the creation of an "I am not a rent a blogger" manifesto, similar to the "ad free" manifesto that circulated American blogs a few years back. The gist of the negative reaction was that providing free product to bloggers would taint their objectivity and, perhaps, cause them to write an overly glowing product review.