You No Longer Control the Communication
As if you needed another example of how it is impossible inthese days of the Internet for a marketer to control the message, consider arecent event featuring the retail giant J.C. Penney.
Turns out a somewhat racy commercial for Penney’s (titled“speed dressing”) showed up on YouTube. It looks like a high-quality Penney’sad, and even features the retailer’s new theme “Today’s the day.”
Controversial JCPenny Comercial SPEED DRESSING – video powered by Metacafe
The thing is,though, that J.C. Penney had nothing to do with it. In fact, they weren’t evenaware of it until it had been viewed thousands of times on YouTube.
The spot, which focuses on a pair of teenagers supposedly preparing to have sex, was created by a production company with the intent ofentering the spot in creative award shows, without the client’s consent and, supposedly, without the ad agency’s consent.
As much as marketers would like to retain total control of the marketing message, these days it’s not going to happen. And rather than wring your hands with worry every time an amateur knock-off video shows up or a negative blog post surfaces, we advise taking a more proactive approach: build a strong brand.
Building a strong, focused brand will not only inoculate you against whatever is “out there” about you, it will also empower customers who know you, like you and “get” you to share their stories about you in their own words. Penney’s a perfect case. The marketer has such a strong brand identity and customers that feel so strongly about the company that it is doubtful that anyone who knows the company would take seriously that it would promote teen sex. Even just looking at the spot, one easily notes it’s not a “Penney’s spot.” It looks totally out of context with the image that comes to mind when you think of Penney’s.
So ask yourself “What kind of stories would I like told about me online.” Then ask what you have to provide to your customers and those who know you to make that happen.
- Friday LinkFest For May 25, 2012.
- When Do Spots Wear Out?
- A commercial that’s fake? I’m shocked, shocked I tell you!
- What’s your story?
- Beating Down the Straw Man.