Things kicked off as the advisor said they would. Our first round of discussion was based on the results of negative buzz factor. How it affects business today to have so much of their brand exposed and managed by the consumer. The case studies were pretty amazing. Various posted about the Domino’s Pizza employees goofing around on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhBmWxQpedI
Apparently this cost Domino’s a ton on money, but the real question is what does it do for product buzz factor? Were there millions of people talking about Domino’s Pizza overnight? Can executives turn this buzz factor around? My opinion: of course they can. I’m a strong believer that working with bad PR is easier than working with no PR. They key? Entertainment value. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. If we as marketers can default to the entertainment value in a message, we’re light years ahead of the competition. If Domino executives decided to spoof the act or better yet, get a skit going on SNL, people will not only be laughing about it…it would almost become a fear factor to order a pizza from there. Gen X darlings would have a field day with it.
Another great example was the 1.8M people that tuned into the Hewlett Packard is Racist YouTube video. It’s relating to the new face tracking web cam on laptop models. Unfortunately, the web cam doesn’t recognize faces with darker contrast. The clip is jovial and entertaining but sends a screaming message of “opps, we forgot our friendly ethnic consumer that spends a surplus of 1.9 billion on computers alone.” This clip hit YouTube during the hub of the Christmas buying season and is thought to have caused a significant decline in sales.
Now, how does a company with that much market share get out of this mess? Well, after issued apologies on Twitter they may have given some acknowledgment to the socially frayed problem, but there’s a greater objective and untapped opportunity. Now more than ever I believe the African American audience feels empowered and acknowledged for their skills, talent and capabilities. It is indeed refreshing to see ad execs making huge strides in casting more ethnic families to deliver their message. How about taking it to the next level and turning the apology over to some of our beloved comedians like Chris Rock or Wanda Sykes? The cost to hire this high level talent is sure to be less than the millions HP could incur…so why not? I can not even imagine the huge fun they could have with this and what better for HP than to laugh at themselves for such an oversight? Anywhoo, here’s the clip, enjoy.