Sunday, 29 March 2009

How smart are you?

How smart are you?

An idle click on a new Twitter follower message as I contemplated the second coffee of the morning led me to this Tweet:

"We launched the project site http://www.smartpeople.ae this is going to be revolutionary!"

There was something familiar about this. Maybe it was the over-excited tone, maybe the the lack of punctuation. Maybe the over-promising - 'this is going to be revolutionary'?

Really?

And then we have the Twitter ID - 'Albert Edison'. I smell ad agency.

The site's borderline slick, copywriter schtick with smart graphical treatment, some neat ideas, a Twitter feed and even a link to 'Our Facebook Page' that doesn't work. And yes, it's an 'integrated social media campaign' from someone. Ths is undoubtedly a company and a site driven by an ad agency - the 'feel' is unmistakeable.

But who?

You see, the first problem with this whole thing is that you need to be UPFRONT if you're a company using Twitter and other social media. There's no point in being coy - and you're just going to annoy people if you hide your identity and purpose.

And that's precisely what UAE telco Du has done with this campaign. 'About us' on the website doesn't say, 'Hi, we're du and this is our new campaign site'. In fact, nowhere on the site says 'Hi, we're du and this is our new campaign site'.

So no, I didn't think your idea was smart - I was mildly annoyed that you'd wasted my time and misrepresented yourselves to me, actually - and that you're crashing around 'social media' having learned none of the lessons of Wal-Mart et al.

Wise up, people.

THIS IS NOT A ONE WAY COMMUNICATION ANY MORE!

Update. The Facebook page is now working.

Just in case anyone out there doesn't know this, you can look up any UAE registered (any .ae domain) website and find out who owns it by using the
UAE NIC WHOIS tool.

You can do the same with .com sites by using whois.com.

6 comments:

Media Junkie said...

I agree. I got so annoyed when I found out that the 'What type are you' was a campaign for HSBC. So representation, or at the very least a tiny disclaimer like the general surgeon's warning on cigarettes, would be nice.

PS: what did Walmart do?

alexander... said...

Walmart is popularly and widely used as a good example of 'corporate fail' when using social media - it all stems from a blog set up by their PR company that bigged up the company and its staff satisfaction/commitment - but turned out to have been written for money. More here from Business Week which adopts a much more measured tone than the rest of the Internet when discussing the issue!

http://twurl.nl/h0lfyi

samuraisam said...

Sony has always been the biggest fail with any type of advertising; but it's probably a part of any big companies strategy now

alexander... said...

Sam, that's brilliant!

Is that what they've all been up to over at the Lynx Awards this year?

LOL

(Lynx fuss here)

AdPhil said...

It seems that the Facebook group in question is advertising Etisalat wares. Intentional, in the vein of the samuraisam feigh, or a case of not-so-smart-people?

Neel the DarkRanger said...

You said! It's definately the work of an ad agency and more so it's most probably a teaser campaign (I know bec I work in an ad agency :)) Note how your results will only be displayed AFTER you send the link to your friends- sending to friends here is spreading word of mouth). I can't however figure out which brand it links to. Did any of you see what Audi did for it's latest launch? They employed a mini-quiz online that was pretty interesting because it centered on the user and not the car (well atleast in the beginning). You would have never thought this was about the Audi! Check here www.leftandright.me

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