Monthly Archives: March 2010

Major marketing blunders

The following article is from other website, it’s useful information for a marketer to remember.


As some of the country’s best known brands prove over and over again, marketing mistakes can happen to anyone. Whether it’s an ill-devised campaign, poor execution or an email that’s slipped out accidentally, letting the world see your company’s slip-up can cost a brand dearly. We look at some of the more high profile marketing gaffs and explain how your company can avoid following suit.


Blunder 1: Westpac goes bananas
Westpac copped major flak from consumers late last year after hundreds of thousands of its customers received an animated video explaining why its interest rates were rising.


The video, dubbed Cool Bananas, worked to justify the bank’s decision to raise interest rates by almost double the Reserve Bank’s increase by likening mortgages to bananas smoothies and the cost of borrowing money to the cost of bananas.


Consumers dubbed the video childish and condescending and ultimately, Westpac was forced to apologise.


James Atkins, director of Vantage Marketing says companies should considering how they would feel if its marketing campaign ended up on the front page of the newspaper, adding that this simple approach can sometimes put things into perspective.


“These sorts of problems occur when you jump straight from objective to execution.”


“You don’t want to end up with a damaged reputation by doing something that’s just plain stupid. Companies need to ask if the campaign fits with their strategy,” Atkins says.


Blunder 2: Virgin Blue database blunder
Even big brands like budget airline Virgin Blue isn’t immune to marketing mistakes. Late last year a major database blunder took place, resulting in some major back-peddling.
The company emailed its entire Velocity loyalty scheme database (including people who had opted out of receiving messages) the following: ‘We’ve got a treat for you – a free upgrade to Velocity Gold!’


The email went on to offer free lounge membership, priority check-in, up to 32kg of baggage at no cost and two personalised baggage tags.


But hours later, a second email was sent, alerting people to the fact that the previous email was a mistake. Customers were asked to disregard the offer ‘as unfortunately you do not qualify for that upgrade’. The company apologised and blamed a processing error, but was left red-faced.


Rob Belgiovane of Sydney advertising agency Belgiovane Williams Mackay says a marketing mistake can see a brand lose millions of dollars if it results in customers turning off a brand.


“At the end of the day we’re all only human, but I do see more and more errors slip through when marketers try to rush campaigns through to get them to market quickly, or try to create campaigns on the cheap,” Belgiovane says.


“Reduced budgets and less time spent on a campaign equals more mistakes, it’s that simple.”


Blunder 3: Kraft’s iSnack 2.0
Kraft’s iSnack could quite possibly go down as one of the most inappropriate names ever coined.


The food giant created one of the most short-lived products on supermarket shelves late last year after the company named its new Vegemite cheese spread iSnack 2.0 after seeking suggestions from Vegemite fans. The unveiling of the name resulted in consumers venting online, before Kraft renamed the product Cheesybite. Some suggested that the entire episode was a publicity stunt, which Kraft strenuously denies.


Peter Harris, national president of the Australian Market and Social Research Society (AMSRS) says research is vital before a campaign launch. He recommends that marketers set aside between 5% and 10% of their marketing budget for research and pre-launch testing.


“By engaging with consumers before the launch, marketers can reduce their risk. Marketers need to regularly engage with customers to understand what they deem to be acceptable. That way you’re able to pick up any undercurrent that may deem something to be risky and made a decision whether to proceed with it, or whether you should change the campaign.”
Blunder 4: Witchery Man launch
Sydney communications agency Naked Communications created a YouTube video in which a young female actor appealed for a guy who left his jacket behind to contact her so she could return it.


The video, launched last year, received heaps of coverage but the media soon uncovered the fact that it was a hoax disguised as an elaborate marketing strategy to launch the Witchery Man brand.


Naked was condemned by industry peers over the stunt, but the agency stood by the campaign, saying it worked beautifully to launch the new brand. Social media campaigns need to be based on the truth, according to Belgiovane. “If you’re making things up to get your brand out there virally, then consumers are going to start to feel ripped off,” Belgiovane warns.


“You need to be making people a genuine offer and stick with that notion of reality when heading down the social media path. Integrity is very important. But brands should be careful. Social media is fraught with danger for the inexperienced.”
Blunder 5: Toyota Yaris ad backfires
Toyota dabbled in social media late last year, inviting consumers to make a short film as part of a competition offering $7,000 in prize money.


The car marquee launched the competition to promote its Yaris brand, aimed at young females.


The winning ad depicts a father and young male having an innuendo-laden discussion about an impending date with the father’s young daughter. The video includes such phrases as “I’m here to take Jennifer’s virginity out tonight”, “She can take a good pounding in any direction” and “I’m ready to blow”, among others.


The video was chosen as the winner of the competition and was used as the campaign despite one of the conditions of Toyota’s competition being that submissions must not be immoral. Toyota eventually apologised after a public backlash.


Atkins of Vantage Marketing says company CEOS need to hold marketers accountable when going through the campaign development process.


“CEOs need to be asking the tough questions. They’ve got to look at whether the strategy fits the objective. If the marketer can’t answer those questions then it should signal a big red flag for CEOs.”
Blunder 6: Grill’d bungled coupon offer
Melbourne burger chain Grill’d was forced to apologise for a bungled two-for-one offer aimed at university students this month after a print-only coupon found its way on the internet.


Grill’d offered a two-for-one offer through a university publication. The coupon was designed for print publications only, but soon electronic scans were being sent to inboxes everywhere and the chain was flooded with requests to redeem the vouchers, but Grill’d initially refused to honour the offer.


Rival fast food chain Nando’s took advantage of the chaos by offering to redeem any Grill’d voucher while launching a similar campaign of its own.


Grill’d then announced it would acknowledge the coupons in a bid to appease its young target market.
Jo Macdermott of Melbourne’s Next Marketing says the best way to get over a marketing mistake is to go into crisis mode.


“For most SMEs I would say cutting expenses as much as possible and as quickly as possible is a good start. Then, go through a very thorough cashflow to ensure the business doesn’t run out of cash.”


Hiring expert help can also be a good idea, she says.


“But ask your suppliers to show you your expected return on investment before committing to anything.”

Sony Ericsson Hopper Invasion Campaign (Continued)

The matrix for media communication works well. No matter where customers see the Hopper Invasion message, they will be lead to the website and encouraged to join in the Hopper Invasion campaign.

Areas that could have been improved

There are a few things Sony Ericsson could have done better.

Product not tie-in with the campaign
Every campaign is executed for promoting the product. The Hopper Invasion is a fantastic idea and the campaign is highly interacting with the customers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t tie-in the product with the campaign. Customers seem to have lots of fun on being part of campaign itself, but they might not pay attention to what the product is.
To promote the camera phone, Sony Ericsson should entice customer who are in the city with the campaign launched to take pictures with Sony Ericsson Satio.
The competition should be created based on two targets.
– People in the city where the campaign ran. Join in the competition, you have to upload the best Hopper Picture you took by Sony Ericsson Satio or Aino.
– People who are not in the city where the campaign ran. Join in the social network (Facebook or Twitter) to pick the best picture, the most enthusiastic contributor will win a grand prize.
Therefore, the target customer in the world will be engaged with both product and campaign.

Lack of user generated content
The whole campaign is cautious on using blogosphere.
There is not either product preview blog, product manager blog or customer comments on the Hopper Invasion website.
Sony Ericsson might regard the Hopper Invasion website as a campaign information website, but the product review link should be at least added in the campaign website.

Mechanics Issue on email campaign
The campaign might have some problems on continuing interaction with the customers. Especially on email campaign, the post campaign activity is conducted by email campaigns.
The customer is told that once they created and leased their hoppers, they will be given further instructions via email on how to participate and where to see the web-based Flash Mob.
I have created my hopper, apart from the email notification telling me my hopper launched successfully; I haven’t received any updated information.

Sony Ericsson Hopper Invasion Campaign

I did a case study in November last year. The case is about analysing a campaign whose primary marketing strategy is focusing on digital marketing. Here is the case study.
Sony Ericsson Hopper Invasion Campaign
Campaign Background
The Hopper Invasion Campaign is launched by Sony Ericsson to promote Sony Ericsson three new phones, the Yari, Aino and Satio. The campaign is a part of the Entertainment Unlimited and Make.Believe branding activities, and part of the lead up to the November 3 launch of Rachel, Sony’s first Android phone, the Xperia X10.
The three new Sony Ericsson phones are impressive looking mobile phones. The promotion is focusing on promoting the Satio – Touch Screen Camera Phone, the square box like appearance has a strange allure. It is full of functionality and offers some of the latest technology available to mobile phone manufacturers. In fact its one of the most advanced mobile phone on the current market with features such as a 12 mega pixel camera in its arsenal.
The overriding feature of this phone is the 3.5 inch TFT touch screen which comfortably displays 16 million colours including variants. The screen displays images with a vivid representation and with an unrivalled clarity. The screen operates at a size of 360 x 640 pixels and includes an accelerometer sensor which ensures images are displayed in their correct aspect.
In order to promote the product to its target customer, they set up the Hopper Invasion worldwide Campaign. It all started with 500 hoppers in Barcelona and the idea that you can spark something fun anytime, anywhere.
The Hopper Invasion campaign was developed at Saatchi & Saatchi, London, by executive creative director Richard Copping and art director Eddie Wong. Media was handled by MEC.Filming was shot by Rockhard Films director Tony Petrossian via Play Films. Post production was done at Blackmagic Design, Singapore. Sound and music were produced at Song Zu, Singapore.
Target Customer
Sony Ericsson Satio target customer are young Male and Female, aged 15-35, college youths or working executives, living in urban, semi urban and rural areas Where there is mobile connectivity.
They are party animals, like camera phone, social network and something unique and funky.
  • Setting up the Hopper Invasion campaign to communicate new products with audiences through a multimedia channel.
  • To acquire the awareness of the campaign, a comprehensive mass media plan covers the worldwide audiences as soon as the Barcelona campaign launched.
The campaign started in Barcelona when 500 Space Hoppers took to the streets…
In late September, 500 people on space hoppers invaded Barcelona, for a TV commercial and viral film.
In London, The Space Hoppers is running in cities via the projections throughout the U.K. The whole Space Hopper projections featured in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow and Dublin. Several of the projections targeted specific events in the evenings where a large gathering of people could be guaranteed, such as locations next to the O2 ABC in Glasgow and Academy in Birmingham on the nights of major acts.
Viewers are driven to the Sony Ericsson Hopper Invasion website where people are encouraged to create their own virtual hopper, customising the appearance and the height of its bounce. In London, More than 27,000 people have signed up for Sony Ericsson’s online Flash Mob involving retro space hoppers.
Details of the online Flash Mob are being kept under wraps as the brand saying only that participants will be given further instructions via email on how to participate and where to see the web-based Flash Mob.
You can also share this campaign with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Stumbleupon and Delicious, these social network buttons are added in the Hopper Invasion website.
Communication Strategies
  • Key Message:
What if dreams could become reality? Join in the Hopper Invasion. We are here to make it happen. Make. Believe
  • Media Strategy:
Focus on digital channel to create a buzz; integrated digital, TV, outdoor and print ads to create hype; the digital campaign would act as a flash mob style campaign with space hoppers ‘invading the web’.
Sony Ericsson set up a campaign website
The website is a flash site featuring functionality and creativity. The whole website is divided into four sections, the main section on the left for product demo, the other three sections are on the right for introducing the worldwide campaign, join in online invasion and another product introduction. It has all the right goodies to get your creative juices flowing. After selecting your country you see a screen with a 3D animation – then you get invaded by the Hoppers.

Product Demo – The product demo with flash instruction highlights the core benefits for using this product. The core feature of the product is Pics that get your friends talking with Satio™. There is a link leading viewers to Sony Ericssion product website.

Campaign Message – Once you click in, it will show you the Barcelona Campaign, TV ads and the Flash Mob promoted on the MSN and Yahoo. This section will answer a whole lot questions you will ask, such as:
What is the whole campaign is about? What does the Flash Mob look like? And how Sony Ericsson promotes it?
Online Interaction – Join The Invasion which is set up for the interaction with audiences. The activity is that creating your hopper in six steps to be part of the online invasion. You can give your hopper colour, eyes, mouth, nose, tats and scars. In the end, you can create your bounce level and name. Then release! After you name your hopper, you need to provide your email address for getting the hopper news from the chief hopper. After you’ve created your own Hopper make sure to download your screensaver – very funny.
Mobile Game and Ring Tone
You can download the hopper game to your mobile phone, also download the ring tone, screensaver and more to your phone.
Paid Media
The advertising campaign is launched on the back of initial digital activity on sites such as MSN and Sony Ericsson’s own new website encouraging consumers to create their own space hopper.
The world’s first ever Flash Mob is launched on Yahoo7 and Ninemsn homepage at the square banner position. The online Flash Mob which caught Yahoo!7’s users by surprise saw thousands of individually designed coloured space hoppers bounce across the screen for about 40 seconds at exactly 6pm, before vanishing.
Sony Ericsson is doing the SEM for the Hopper Invasion. When you search Hopper Invasion, you can see the first search result is the Hopper Invasion website.
It’s convenient for viewers to click the search result and lead to the website straight away.
TV Ads
The TV campaign asks ‘What if dreams could become reality?’ and features people bouncing down the street on coloured space hoppers. The ad ends with the words ‘We’re here to make it happen. Make. Believe.’
You can also find the TV ads on the Hopper Invasion website:
The billboard is the large signal for the Hopper Invasion campaign to be seen in busy roads, motorways and highways in most big cities in the world. There are a few billboards displayed in the Pacific Highway in Sydney with the following picture.
There is no official Hopper Invasion blog.  Only a few blogs are created by Sony Ericsson fans to introduce the products.
Sony Ericsson created a page named sonyericssonworld on Youtube and published one of the Hopper Invasion video on the page. There are 298 ratings for this video. The YouTube video points viewers to the Hopper Invasion site where they are encouraged to create their own customized hopper and sign up for updates from Sony Ericsson.
This video has successfully gone viral. There are heaps of different video published by fans. The contents are more vary compared with the official video. People are loving this fantastic idea and fun activity.
There is no official Hopper Invasion fan page. The campaign message is ebbed in the Sony Ericsson World page, but there are a few things highlighted in the page.
– Banner Display
Two Hopper Invasion banners are displaying at the left hand side of the Sony Ericsson World page to lead customer to the Hopper Invasion campaign site.
– Campaign Message
The campaign message is published continually on Sony Ericsson World page to communicate with customer constantly. Such as
The invasion continues
Satio™ and Aino™ sparked the world’s first hopper invasion. They captured the fun, shared it with the world and, with apps, sparked a conversation.
See the Satio™ and Aino™ hopper story from the start, from the streets of …Barcelona to the world’s first online flash mob.
Now it’s your turn to experience the invasion. Join in at
Hop to it!Read More
– Photos Sharing
Many Hopper Invasion pictures are displayed on the Sony Ericsson World Page.
The digital campaign will also feature hopper-themed activity on Twitter. But this official twitter page is just set up with few followers and tweets.
The above the line campaign also features the gaming and video content available through the new trio of handsets. The Aino is the first to access Playstation 3 through the mobile handset.
Overall Evaluation

The idea of the campaign is excellent! It successfully enticed its target customer to engage with the campaign.
The execution of the campaign is smart. It starts with a real Street Hopper campaign in Barcelona, and then launched a viral video in the worldwide via different media channels, the projections, the video, the TV. The buzz has been created only by a campaign in Barcelona, continued with a virtual campaign and online interaction with customers in the cyber world.
The website traffic is good, the average unique visits are 220k, total visits 240k and page views 360k (data provided by Google Ad Planner). Visitor spends average 3:50 minutes on site that means the website is interactive enough.
Media channel coverage, the Hopper Invasion covers Yahoo, MSN and Facebook for the Flash Mob ads and interaction. These three media are the top three channels for audience to reach the Hopper Invasion campaign. Hence, the media plan coverage is excellent.

Google Ad Planer (Based on:


Comp Index


UV (users)

UV (users)


Ad Specs

Web Portals






Social Networks






Web Portals






Social Networks






Search Engines


















What you can do on Linkedin to promote your product and services?

LinkedIn is a professional Social networking platform which links more than 50 million influential, affluent and ambitious professionals with average household income of $109K from over 200 countries. Users create a profile that summarizes their professional achievements and allows them to connect with other professionals showcase their skills or share their expertise.

There are currently 875,000 Australian members on LinkedIn, making this a perfect advertising platform for your product and services. LinkedIn targeting is also more accurate than some other social platforms as profile information represents the user’s public face and is therefore often updated and correct. Advertising can be targeted on a number of criteria including Industry, Seniority, Job Function, Company size and Geography.

You can create a rich media schedule to connect with users through rich display advertising. A ‘custom target’ media schedule will be developed to maximize frequency and purchased on a CPM (Cost per Thousand impressions) basis. The ‘custom targeting’ will ensure you reach your target market only and there is no wastage.

Another benefit of this advertising is the fact that you are also able to use LinkedIn to track customers for retargeting. This will be done by placing a cookie on the LinkedIn customers (who you know are within your target market) and then re-targeting them through your other online advertising. This is an incredible opportunity and will ensure that your other online banner advertising is more effectively targeted.

There also have some other social media you can use, such as youtube, flickr etc. To know more practical skills on the social media, the only thing you need to do is to have an account on these social networking media and play with it.

P.S. I will post another article in regard to the measurement of all kinds of social media very soon. Even though, the measurement for the social media is still in its infancy, we’d better put our hands on it now.

What you can do on Twitter to promote your product and services?

Twitter is an online micro-blogging service allowing users to post updates or comments in less than 140 characters per post. In the last year Twitter has exploded, growing far beyond expectations. Although it is hard to find accurate data it is currently estimated that there are more than 1 million twitter user in Australia.

If you want to update your product and service information, especially your blog in the public quickly, it is critical for you to have a presence on Twitter for the following reasons.

Brand mentions: Twitter allows you to find out who is talking about your company and your product and to become a part of this conversation.

Customer service: Twitter provides a channel for you to talk to potential customers who might be interested in your product and your ongoing promoetion and to continue the conversation through the purchase cycle.

Promotions: Twitter provides a perfect platform to make your promote, competition in the air and to encourage discussion.

Competitiveness: If your brand has an entrepreneurial spirit and excellent brand advocating, you would expect the brand to have a presence on this platform.

Domain squatting: You need to create an official brand representation for your product and your brand… otherwise someone else will!

Personality: Twitter allows your product and services to have a personality and a human voice. It allows you to meet your customers online, react to criticism and problems as well as questions. It also allows customers to become more comfortable with the brand and encourages interaction.

The following steps must be undertaken to create your product presence on Twitter;

• Username chosen & created: This should be @your product name or your brand name
• Profile completed: By including a logo and information about your product and services that you can establish an identity for the brand
• Start tweeting: Start sharing relevant and engaging information through fostering conversation with others considering the content and tone matches the identity of the brand.
• Follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of your tweets should add value and be informative and interesting, the other 20% can be a little quirky and different. However, given your brand this rule can probably be pushed a little.
Once you start it, you will know what trenmendous benefits Twitter can bring to you.

What you can do on Facebook to promote your product and services?

Social Media Marketing is so hot. Everyone now is involved in at least one type of social media. There is no excuse for a marketer losing their attention to the social media marketing which is of course a big topic to talk. I am only sharing some practical tips here on a few specific social media.

The first post is Facebook

Facebook provides a platform where people can communicate efficiently with people they know. It is an authentic environment where people share information openly and easily. Facebook adoption in Australia is the highest of all countries per online population in the world with 48.2% of Australian Internet users having an active Facebook account. Australian Facebook users spend on average 22 minutes a day on Facebook, they visit the site on average 2.1 times a day and have on average 120 friends. (Nielson Netratings June 2009) 44% of users are male and 33% are aged 25-34 years representing a target audience of approx 2.2 million users. (Facebook advertising tool.)

On facebook, if you have budget restraints, there are four promotion tools you can use to interact with potential and current customers.

  • Facebook Page
  • Facebook Application
  • Facebook Advertising
  • Facebook Connect

Facebook Page

A Facebook page is a necessary toll to create a brand identity for your product and services as well as to allow potential customers to interact, learn and spread the word about your product and services.

The key to the Facebook platform is to encourage people to become “fans” of the brand page allowing them to connect with potential consumers in conversations about the brand. It also allows brands to be a part of conversations that consumers are already having with friends throughout the Facebook platform.

On the facebook fan page, you should include the following elements/tabs;

Wall: to allow for discussions between the brand & fans.
Info: to provide information on your product and services and to provide positioning.
Competition: Information in regard to your product and services promotion.
Application: If it’s possible, you can design games which integrated with your product character.

You can also embed your Twitter, YouTube account on your facebook fan page, make your customer to interact with your completely.

It is critical that your fan page is designed to be engaging and to encourage communication between users and the brand. Content should be added regularly including photos, videos, notes, competition elements, events etc to ensure the page is always fresh and provides valuable content.

Facebook pages also allow for page insights to be tracked including demographics on fans and information around the fan bases interaction with the page. It is critical that this information is analysed and used to adapt the campaign and page over time.

Facebook Connect
Facebook connect enables users to “login” to your website using their Facebook login and share their activity on this website with Facebook friends as well as being able to see their friends activity. This ensures that friends of those who are engaging with the website will see what their friends are doing and encourage them to visit the page or interact with these updates.

Facebook Connect allows you to leverage the enormous social networking power of Facebook and to seamlessly connect the your website with Facebook. This will connect the content between Facebook and website including competition and blog entries. It will also ensure that anyone who enters a video or who interacts with the website will have this activity posted in all of their friend’s newsfeeds.

Facebook Advertising
Facebook advertising allows for display advertising to be targeted based on a number of criteria including, age, geographic area, and interest targeting (which picks up keywords on the users wall and profile). This enables zero wastage to ensure only the desired target market will be served with the advertising.

Facebook advertising is unique in the social aspect of its advertising where in the ads themselves encourage users to interact with them, comment, and share information with their friends.

There are a few types of ads you can purchase:

Poll Engagement Ad – This ad asks the user a question and encourages their engagement.
Fan Engagement Ad – This ad lists the users friends who have become fans and encourages them to also fan the page.