As our SUXORZ panel noted at SMNYC, Smirnoff shut down the popular site brosicingbros.com, rather than embracing it, because they didn’t want to associate themselves with such irresponsible behavior. But you can still use Smirnoff’s own Facebook app to brand a photo of yourself being iced and share it with all of your friends. Is this what Zuckerberg meant when he said Facebook is in the business of advertising?
Last month, the SUXORZ panel had some fun with Denny’s at Social Media Week. Denny’s, trying to get into the “Social Media” game, had printed the wrong Twitter address on its menus, sending customers to the page of a random guy in Tawain named Dennys.
It was an honest mistake. After all, Denny’s owns “Dennys” on Facebook and YouTube, and Dennys.com, so why wouldn’t they own the Twitter handle?
This year, Denny’s has turned a corner on the social web, making great strides towards ROXOR status. Their actual twitter account has almost 40x the followers of the guy in Taiwain, and this month has seen the launch of the awesome new web series “Always Open with David Koechner.”
In the videos, SNL alum David Koechner has extremely casual conversations with his comedian friends at a real-life Denny’s in L.A. The first two episodes have featured Sarah Silverman and Jason Bateman, whose production company, DumbDumb, co-created the series with Electus and NY agency Gotham. The spots really emphasize the comfort you feel in America’s Diner, where you can sit with a friend and be completely open — all night.
Distributed via College Humor, as well as Denny’s own social media pages, the spots, which are set to feature Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, and more, are getting lots of admiration from the ad industry.
And is it just me, or do these videos remind anyone else of the diner scenes in Seinfeld? To this day, tourists see that Upper West Side diner and say, “Hey, this is where George and Jerry ate!” Maybe kids will start showing up at this Denny’s in LA saying, “Hey, this is where Sarah Silverman made Dave Koechner uncomfortable! Let’s get some eggs!”
New York’s Social Media Week featured wall-to-wall sessions on how marketers can do social media right, but nothing can hold a candle to the sheer Schdenfreude of watching the brands and agencies that are doing it wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong.
Total irreverence was enjoyed by all last night at the #Suxorz panel at the Gershwin Hotel (pictured above), where we parsed the delicacies of the year’s most flat-footed and tone deaf social media campaigns.
Social Media Week got a little rowdy last night, as a crowd of 150 gathered at the Gershwin Hotel to join our panelists in taking on the worst social media campaigns of the last year. If you weren’t able to be there, you can relive the night via the #SUXORZ11 tag.
Without further ado, here’s a recap of our nominees and winners — or rather, losers — by category.
This is where Internet memes go to die. These nominees took established memes and, rather than running with them, put them to sleep.
Winner: Cisco: Ted From Accounting
Perhaps an attempt to keep up with the Old Spice Guy, Cisco introduced us to Ted From Accounting. And who is he? Well, no one seemed to notice him, so we may never really know.
Whenit comes to social media, some companies just don’t get it. This category recognizes such companies.
Winner: Denny’s Twitter Fail It’s great that Denny’s wants to connect with its customers on Twitter. Unfortunately, the Twitter handle they published in their menu was already taken by a man in Taiwan.
MEAN PEOPLE SUCK When given a chance, people are innately cruel. Here we looked at Social Media Meanness Winner: Price Chopper Tries to Get Customer Fired In a bizarre incident in the Syracuse area, a representative from the grocery store Price Chopper contacted an tweeter’s boss to try to get him fired.
YOU’RE SO VAIN
In our final round, we examined celebrities and pseudo-celebs getting all tangled up in the Social Web.
Winner: Digital Death It seemed so noble. Celebrities would stop using twitter until their fans could raise a million dollars for AIDS in Africa. Only problem was no one really wanted them to come back.
In the final round, we pitted all four winners against each other, and in near-landslide fashion, Price Chopper took the Grand Suxor prize.
Perhaps the ultimate lesson of last night is this simple: be nice and don’t hurt people.
Lots of other practices in social media can get you in trouble — polluting the Tweet stream (Mercedes), taking yourself too seriously (Digital Death, Nestle), doing unviral videos (Dell, Cisco), letting people insert their words in your mouth (Dr. Pepper.)
But, at least in the wisdom of THIS crowd, no social media crime is worse than when a big company comes down on an individual.
Update: Jesse Stanchak gives a great blow by blow of the evening.
Books are everything social media is not: composed and consumed in solitude, written and read at leisure, conceived and bought as blocks. Yet readers and writers are increasingly connecting to each other with tweets, apps, and book-based social networks.
Join four authors as they discuss how social media is transforming the experience of writing, reading and promoting books — and what the changes may mean for authors, readers and publishers.
Steven B. Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From (@stevenbjohnson) Maud Newton, book pundit and nascent novelist (@maudnewton) Lenore Skenazi, author of Free Range Kids (@freerangekids) Clive Thompson, New York Times Magazine writer and Wired columnist with book in progress (@pomeranian99) Henry Copeland, moderator, Blogads.com (@hc)
Amid tales of genius and triumph during #SMWNYC, the #SUXORZ11 panel will be the Greek chorus. We’ll dissect the twelve worst social media campaigns of 2010, and then throw them to our drunken audience for comments and voting. It’s like what we’ve done in pastyears at SXSW… with the lubrication of complimentary beer and wine. Who will be crowned this year’s SUXORZ champion?
In 2002 Henry Copeland started brainstorming a service to connect bloggers and advertisers. Here’s the original Blogads manifesto. The Blogads domain was registered March 5, 2002, and after six months of prototyping and programming, the service launched August 13. Things were quieter than expected. The first ad, for $32, didn’t trickle in until September 2.
During the ’04 and ’08 elections, Blogads ran hundreds of ads for different candidates and causes, more different political ads than any other single online media. Henry “makes blogs possible,” said leading bloggers.
Henry, 48, grew up in Wooster, Ohio and in 1984 received a BA in history from Yale University after scraping by classes in economics, math and computer science. After working on Wall Street (’84-91) and in Budapest as a journalist (’91-’98), in 1998 Henry founded Pressflex.com, the parent company to Blogads. Pressflex today serves as the webmaster for nearly 100 newspapers and magazines across Europe.
And talking with Epic Fu’s Zadi Diaz about social media advertising:
Department of dubious distinctions: Henry was named “most argumentative” in the Wooster High class of ’80. Henry’s blog is the sixth oldest by an American CEO, according to this list. And Henry is one of Gawker’s New Dorks of All Media.
Favorite business books: The Innovator’s Solution, The Loyalty Effect, Emergence, Sam Walton: Made in America, Fooled by Randomness, Only the Paranoid Survive, Crossing the Chasm, The perfect store: eBay, Moneyball, The Machine that Changed the World, and Linked.
This is a compilation of notes taken by Blogads team members at panels during Social Media Week NYC, Feb. 1-5.
The Oldest Media Goes Social: from books to blogs at Booz & Company with author AJ Jacobs, blogger Levi Asher, Wiley marketeer Natalie Lin, publicist Meryl Moss and moderator Henry Copeland.
* 20 years ago, book publicists pitched to ~300 newspapers, now it’s down to ~25 physical papers and the online components of a few dozen more.
* TV and radio shows remain the “big book movers,” but new media is an important complement.
* While publishers and publicists encourage authors to establish and maintain an online community fewer than 50% stick with it.
* A grassroots approach is ideal- to ask for feedback while you’re writing makes your fans feel more connected to your work. Authors who get online only when their book is published can feel spammy.
* Plenty of attempts to “viralize” a Youtube video for a book fail miserably.
* With all the noise, ads can help penetrate the haze, help the community realize that the author/publisher takes it seriously.
* Social media can soak up a huge amount of time for a dedicated author.
What’s Your Social Media Currency at No Longer Empty with Questlove, Andrew Katz and Marisa Bangash.
* Brands are cutting out the middle men (labels, agencies) to align themselves directly with artists. Think Santigold for EA Games and Julian Casablancas for Converse.
* Artists need more than just musical talent- they must be able to blog, tweet and interact online.
* Blogs are well-respected content providers for reviews and inside information… it’s not uncommon for traditional pubs to lift blog content in lieu of writing their own reviews.
* For those anti-SM folks longing for “what’s next”- focusing on the tools is a losing battle. You must focus on the changing consumer behavior- the why not the what.
Crowdsourcery Potions 101 at JWT with John Winsor, Faris Yakob, Saheel Radia, Michael Lebowitz, Ty Montague
* Most of us work in an environment where we are paid even if our ideas aren’t selected. Some say that crowdsourcing is a waste of resources. You have 1,000 people designing a logo. 999 don’t get paid for their work; that’s a huge waste of resources.
* Solution: Crowdsourcing doesn’t have to be a “winner takes all” model. Some consider it to be the new internship – allows inexperienced people to find a place to put their skills to work and try ideas.
* “Coopetition” — when competing teams come together to benefit from each team’s specific skills. The more collaborative a group is, the less control you have.
* Effective crowdsourcing requires good management or good editors or good curators to select team members that can be trusted. You build a community or marketplace of ideas. Good example: iPhone App Store.
Digital Cocktails at Gotham Ventures with panelists Adam Penenberg, Paul Kontonis, Katy Kelley, Matt Heindl, Jessica Amason
* Brands should get genuinely involved in social media instead of working through an agency.
* Things go viral based on collective curation– we decide what’s good and then we want to share it, not because we’re told.
* If you have a product with an Achille’s heel, don’t open it up to user-generated content. Example: The GM Tahoe “create our ad” campaign.
* If you build a microsite, you need to drive an audience there and guarantee personality and conversation. FB provides great niche-targeted ads for this purpose.
* Hornitos Facebook page is a good example of a brand existing within social media because it has a dedicated editor-in-chief, someone who understands the voice of the brand. They post interesting, novel content that is interesting to their consumer. It also had an activation budget.
To recap: By a landslide, the winner of last night’s SUXORZ was Ian’s “unmoderated Tweets” nominee. Winners of individual rounds were: BL’s nominee “Old Spice’s Crusty armpit” (I’m still traumatized), Steve’s “Ryan Air’s abusive response to customer feedback” and BL’s “TimeWarnerUnCares.”
Comparing last night with the SUXORZ we did in ’08 and ’09 at the wonderful SXSW festival in Austin, I think everyone’s expectations for the industry went up this year. Surreptitiously paying bloggers to flatter your brand, a major theme in past SUXORZ, has either stopped or gone underground. But fully disclosed stupidity still abounds, as we saw with Charmin, InsidetheBCS, Old Spice, Habitat, Ricola and Mars Candy. We saw that a social media campaign isn’t a date, it’s a marriage, when Agent Provacateur got dinged for its campaign hiatus. And we saw that experimentation can bring acclaim — Ford City Keys — or concerted kvetching, as with Gawker BloodCopy, PETA and Current TV’s twitter bid. We agreed, yet again, that you should NEVER underestimate the social media urge to f*ck you if your back is turned, as demonstrated by the profanely Tweeting billboard and NFL livetweets.
Most importantly, we saw last night that social media is now understood by any sentient media professional to be an essential part of any company’s relationship with its customers. In prior years, we focused on sins of commission. Now sins of omission in social media — Toyota, Comcast — can earn major SUXORZ. As Ian put it, “how is Toyota putting a full page ad in the New York Times ‘talking with your customers?'”
Looking through the lens of this year’s SUXORZ panel, I think 2009 was the year that social media advertising and marketing grew up. Or at least stopped wetting the bed.
Don’t let the dream die. Our mission never sleeps. SUXORZ are being perpetrated around us daily. While the average bozo dozes, we must remain vigilant. A young professional in the next cubicle over is right NOW scheming to screw up a profoundly beautiful social experience (aka the social web) with some $150,000 scheme to pay 250 tweeps to wear pantyhose while swimming in Lake Erie and drinking your client’s grape juice.
Walk over to that cubicle and say “SUXORZ 2011!” Then ask: how can we celebrate people’s interactions rather than polluting them?
The most interesting discovery in updating the deck: since we publicly reamed KFC, they’ve dealt with their fired-employee/former-KFC-blogger problem by removing her post and unlinking her post. (And perhaps persuading her to take her blog down?)