Miss Irresistible (Nice Teeth)
Meet Miss Irresistible, the new spokesperson/avatar for P&G’s Crest product line. A self-proclaimed “irresistible babe,” she’s helping brand giant P&G enter the realms of Social Media.
P&G’s Social Media Exploration
Miss Irresistible invites visitors to send a naughty—or nice—personalized e-card from her MySpace site—very “You.”
However, 80% of the real estate on the MySpace page seems designed for a Parent’s magazine print ad—predictable and less “social” than you’d expect.
Although the effort still needs some work, P&G is making the right move. Adopting a Social Media plan, sidestepping potential legal department concerns and institutional resistance to change is a critical move forward for the corporate behemoth.
As quoted on the Cincinnati Enquirer’s website, P&G global marketing officer James Stengel said:
“Consumers are right now very dynamic in their media habits. If you stay in touch with that and you want to be relevant in their lives, obviously, a lot of things change … It’s the same reason we got into television 60 years ago.”
New Media, New Lessons
Some large, less nimble corporations stumble a bit as they grapple with how to enter the Social Media market space.
In a move that drew fire from new media experts, Sears Canada recently launched a so-called Consumer Generated Media (CGM) site—a glossy Flash for Flash’s-sake basic voting booth where visitors could choose one of four catalog covers.
The fear of reprisal isn’t limited to corporate legal and marketing departments. The Internet is rife with examples of traditional corporate Public Relations (PR) handling and mishandling of Social Media events.
Starbuck’s wise move in launching a (now removed) preemptive goodwill YouTube video to mitigate the potential backlash of public opinion caused by allegations from Oxfam—a group lobbying against Starbuck’s purported mistreatment of Ethiopian farmers.
The infamous and unfortunate release of a virally propagated video exposing a weakness in Ingersoll Rand’s Kryptonite product—and their lack of readiness and understanding as to how to offset the viral fallout.
The exposure of Dell’s utter lack of Social Media public relations experience in responding to popular blogger Jeff Jarvis, his readers, and his reader’s readers.
Something to Smile About
None of these companies has been ruined by its Social Media experiences. In fact, if embraced and acted upon, each Social Media corporate headline event presents an opportunity to learn and change.
Traditional approaches to marketing, public relations and legal issues can be disconnected in the Social Media marketing space.
Taking time to affirm that the people and firms with whom you’ve aligned have a demonstrated understanding and breadth of experience in the Social Media arena is a proactive step toward making your brand irresistible in a sea of free-flowing Social Media dialog.