Pretty Little Fence-sitters

This article on Brand Channel is worth a read. The short of the story is that after a right-wing group petitioned General Mills to pull their advertising from a show with a lesbian character (Pretty Little Liars), General Mills replied:

“We have informed ABC Family Channel and our agencies that Pretty Little Liars is not a program that we will sponsor.”

But then General Mills started to get some more attention for pulling their ad they responded with:

“General Mills does not make advertising placement decisions based on the sexual orientation of characters.”

Which is funny, because that’s exactly what they led us to believe (rightly or wrongly). Sitting on the fence is an awfully uncomfortable position for a PR department to take these days.

The Economist Preaches the Four Cs of Social Commerce

More lessons for corporations engaging in social media. This time from The Economist:

Consistency. Retailers need policies in place to ensure that their brand promise remains consistent across all media channels, including social media – even if the interactions on Twitter, Facebook and the like are less formal than traditional media.

Community. Key to success is an understanding that social media is not purely a communications channel – in which the retailer controls the message – but more as a community of individuals who share an interest in a brand, or a product, or a category of products.

Collaboration. Social media channels deliver the most value when they move beyond the customer service objective and when insights are effectively shared between different departments.

Commitment. For many retailers, the biggest challenge with social media is getting people throughout the organisation to buy into the benefits. 27% of survey respondents have budgets dedicated to social media marketing and 12% have added one or more full-time positions to support social media.

Kunming’s Fake IKEA

Brandchannel has a good writeup on another of Kunming’s other brand knock-offs: IKEA. The store is called Eleventh Furniture, and its employees have a pretty causal attitude about working for the IKEA knock-off, “If two people are wearing the same clothes, you are bound to say that one copied the other. Customers have told me we look like Ikea. But for me that’s not my problem. I just look after customers’ welfare. Things like copyrights, that is for the big bosses to manage.”

If you took someone from Kunming to visit an IKEA store, would they remark “Hey, this IKEA looks just like Eleventh Furniture”?

Ron Tite’s Case Study on Social Media for Corporations

Over two posts on his blog, Ron Tite has written a crash course for corporations using social media. They work really well as a case study for best practices. The main point: let compassionate humans run your social media, not your legal department, not your marketing department. Be genuine; have character; and engage your audience instead of yelling at them, deaf to their responses.

One of the most common mistakes big brands make is using social media as a one-way bugle that provides a never-ending and piercing stream of infomercial-like offers, deals and promotions. On both Twitter and Facebook, Pizza Pizza excels at this. SM isn’t a commercial. It’s an operational service that listens, responds and keeps people interested and engaged.

  1. Uh oh. Pizza Pizza pissed off the wrong person.
  2. Pizza Nova gets it. Pizza Pizza doesn’t.