First Rule of Holes: expensive social media strategy failing edition

How long do you have to wait for a measly 250,000 votes to appear on your Facebook page before you realise that your target market just isn’t interested enough in what you want them to do?  That making the move from seeing your ad on the telly to registering a vote on this fatuous campaign to ‘save’ your animated mascot* falls squarely into the ‘couldn’t be arsed’ category?  That nobody believes that you’re really planning to get rid of it anyway, and most of us just wouldn’t care much if you did?

Mumbrella commentors predicted that this* campaign would fall flat back in November last year.


The heavy rotation of the intensely irritating ad is building an aversion response within this consumer which is likely to last for years, to the benefit of competing brands.  Going by various Tweets and in-person commentary, I’m far from the only one, indeed I’m probably well within the normal/modal response to this pile of codswallop.  Well done, expensive  social media marketing ‘experts’!

*yes, the omission of the product/mascot name in this post is deliberate

Image Credit: ecards by , helpfully indexed at

Categories: Culture

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10 replies

  1. I have seen this ad *way* too many times, and absolutely hate this campaign. I don’t particularly care for this product (there is actually some in my house – but I don’t use it), and resent the marketing of these types of products in general, i.e. ads which try to normalise terrifyingly high levels of over-use. Actually I resent the whole thing so much I barely had the mental energy to type out this comment.

  2. The irritation level is high but in their view we’re noticing it or we wouldn’t be talking about it so therefore we will remember the product when we go to make purchases. It’s the same in those ads that consist of someone shouting at the consumer. Anything that makes the consumer recall the product is ‘successful’. Except that there are a lot of us who will remember the product and never go near it again, me among them.

  3. I know I may be biased because I cannot believe this is a real marketing ploy, but does the sheer volume of nearly-identically-phrased “NO save [mascot] he is AWESOME!!!” comments on that Mumbrella post scream “astroturfing” to anyone else?

  4. Also, the [possibly genuine] comments calling the mascot in question “an Aussie icon” might like to hop the Tasman and watch some Kiwi TV and then consider how “iconic” any mascot has to be who can be used interchangeably in NZ. (Doesn’t just apply to this particular mascot, either.)

  5. (Apologies for comment spam)

    Wait, no, after scrolling through more comments and seeing *literally identical* comments from different screennames? The astroturf is strong in this one.

    • I have a wee suspicion that Mumbrella leaves the astroturf comments up because they trust most readers to see it for what it is. Fascinating, isn’t it?

  6. I hope so! It’s wonderfully telling once you spot it.

  7. @tigtog: do you mean that literally, or is there a “not” missing from your comment? Because I don’t think I understand social marketing if it involves astroturfing that consumers are meant to recognise as astroturfing (and still favour the astroturfed product).
    [Apparently, I type “turk” a lot more than “turf” – gosh those “f”s were hard!]

    • Aqua, Mumbrella is an advertising analysis site that is definitely not aimed at your average consumer readership, although it’s big enough that some naifs go there just because it comes up when they google something. The targeted marketing doesn’t happen there, it takes place in more mainstream media serving the “core demographic”, what we see occasionally popping up at Mumbrella and other industry analysis sites are the astroturfing sharks, the “reputation management” crowd.
      Mumbrella definitely has the tech skills to block such comments if they want to. I suspect they enjoy leaving them up in front of an audience who will generally point and laugh rather than be persuaded by them.

  8. Ah, yes, I see now, thanks tigtog. I blame lack of sleep.

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