NESCAFÉ Hungary are currently running a comp that required a person to submit a picture / video and get the most ‘likes’ to earn a chance to win $5000. (From what i can gather, I cant read Hungarian)
Janos Szolnoki AKA Jani, a member of the 9Gag.com community posted a comic asking fellow members to like the video of his 11 year old disabled brother to enter the competition in the hopes of winning his brother a special Christmas gift.
Jano’s 9Gag Appeal
With over 47,000 likes at time of posting (10,000 more ‘likes’ than NESCAFÉ Hungary itself) it turns out that the organizers of the competition have disqualified Jani and his brother for the way they had appealed to get the votes.
Now that the story of being disqualified from the competition has broken, the NESCAFÉ Hungary’s Facebook wall is getting inundated with thousands of messages of disdain from the 9gag community.
The flip side of all this is that 9Gag is usually a site with mockery being the #1 object of a vast majority of every post with little to no concern of the “What, too early?” style jokes about current global topics. Very rarely does the 9gag community take kindly to heartfelt / positive or even serious pleas.
What seems to be the problem?
The lesson to be learned here, along with other recent backfires from companies like QANTAS, is that this so called ‘Social Media’ and the general public are a huge and extremely fickle force.
This type of bad public relations used to not worry a multinational company simply because it only spread through word of mouth and would rarely reach the “3rd degree of separation”. Now with the internet being such a huge part of so many peoples lives, it spreads like wildfire.
Companies need to start to think about and work their strategies a lot more. Gone are the day’s of coming up with a campaign to get as many Facebook ‘likes’ as you can, This bubble has already burst. It’s now time to come up with something more tangible, Something more than Facebook or Twitter as a means of ‘Social Media’ marketing.
Facebook isn’t a ‘Social Media’ platform. It’s a social connection’s platform. It’s time companies went back to getting people to their websites, following their links and learning about their company rather than the 2.5 second’s people are spending ‘liking’ a Facebook page whilst chasing that cheap carrot on a stick and not really caring or taking the time to even register who is dangling it in the first place.
What can Nescafe do to repair this?
I can see 2 clear options.
1) Swallow some pride, admit the disqualification was wrong and let the competition run it’s proper course and award the winner it’s dues.
2) Stand by its decision of disqualification due to the vote plea, However, donate $X to helping the young lad in realising a simple dream and capitalise on the PR of doing a good thing for an unfortunate person.
To me, the answer is simple. (from a marketing perspective) I’d jump on it and use it as my next advertising campaign. Tell the story of the young lad and how the company, despite denying him the competition win, still granted him the wish of a Special Christmas.