If you follow any?brand news in social media, you’re probably aware of the criticism Toyota has been receiving over its Superbowl Twitter campaign.
If you haven’t heard about it, Toyota wanted to promote its new Camry range, so it started numerous Twitter accounts to send tweets to people about the car.
Now, there’s no doubt that having multiple accounts sending out random messages into hashtag conversations is spam. Heck, I’ve written about that here before, and it’s always a big no-no in any of our campaigns at Jugnoo.
It’s pre-Permission Marketing at its worst. And yet…
I can’t help but feel that we’re blaming the wrong people. While Toyota’s team may have been the ones behind the campaign, generally for brands that size it’s an external agency that handles promotions like this.
Sure, Toyota would have had to have signed off on the proposal, but at the end of the day, the expertise and best practices lie with the agency.
I’ve worked on accounts for Ford Canada, RIM, LG and more, and while these companies took the plaudits for the success of their campaigns, it was the agency that conceived, conceptualized and implemented – not the brand itself.
Because of the nature of the client/vendor relationship, it’s very rare that the talent behind a campaign is publicly acknowledged. And that’s how it should be, because you’re generally on a contractual status, nothing more.
So before we start shooting brands for a faux pas (perceived or actual), let’s just take a minute and be sure who the blame should be targeted at, before we scare away brands altogether when we should be encouraging them to be more active.
It’s the only way we’ll truly encourage brands to continue to experiment, and be where their customers increasingly are. And we all win when that happens…