Monday, December 14, 2009

Yaris brand Fail

The last 24 hours has been a Titanic disaster for the Toyota brand. Some say any publicity is good publicty but I say getting publically slammed (pun intended) in the media (The Age, Herald Sun, mX etc) cannot do much for one's branding.

In a Mumbrealla thread, Micha McDonald creator of the ad (below) defended the 'short film' saying it was not made for TV but I really don't think this is the point dude.

The fact is that the communication has Toyota branding on it. It has now been seen by over 20,000 people (as of today) on Youtube and hundreds of thousands more on news sites around the country / around the world. That's a lot of people pal. As Toyota is a family brand this is TOTALLY inappropriate. Social media is another platform just like a TV ad, magazines and billboards and there can be no case for going against brand values in any.

When it comes to social media execution, brands like with any other communictions channel have to abide by their branding style guide. This may have been a great execution for a nightclub but as a brand this turmoil is about as good for Toyota as "SRS airbags are to throw your head into."

Unfortunaetly for Micha, I think he would have been the one to be "on his back well before 11" this morning.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Are we living in a social media bubble?

This week we received the sad news that Australia's most well known purely social media strategy agency has shut its doors due to, well lets face it - a lack of business. I must admit I write this with an embarressing image of Carrie Bradshaw sitting on her bed by her laptap after just taking off her new Manolo Blahnicks. As I hear my own voice in my head however there is a very real question being asked for all of us social media believers...

"Are we living in a social media bubble?"

Are we, those in the industry, so consumed by our own tweeting, blogging and Facebooking that we think everyone else is and sees the same value of potential social media campaigns as we do? Yes we can all see the stats of Twitter, Facebook and blogger / wordpress increase by the month but then why can't the people who make the marketing budget decisions see the same value as we do? Are we deranged or just ahead of our time?

Not too disimilar to Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda sitting around a table trying to solve the problems of their world (bar the physical conversation and Cosmopolian), an interesting discussion unravelled up on Mumbrella with some of those involved believing that social media is an in-house function with others taking the position of social media needing to be integrated into a fully serviced agency, which is ultimately what has happened with The Population morphing into their sister agency C4.

Ultimately I don't think the Australian market is ready for a stand alone social media agency just yet. We need Australian case studies of successful campaigns before companies in their masses will be completely comfortable with throwing tens of thousands of dollars at a campaign. And unfortunaetly for The Population, at this stage the Australian market hasn't produced enough solid results to qualify the need for a specialist agency.

So are we living in a social media bubble? Perhaps Carrie. But I think the mass take up and continuous use of of web 2.0 via Twitter, Facebook, blogging etc is reason enough to believe the bubble is a legitimate marketing tool. That makes us ahead of our time :)

As I I have discussed in an earlier post it will take time for a social media industry to develop. And for this reason, only time will illustate the need for special social media agencies.