1 Good Reason – Social Marketing

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The Digital Death Campaign

December 13th, 2010 · 2 Comments

I read my friend, Rohit Bhargava’s excellent blog post about the Digital Death Campaign.  And he writes an insightful analysis of the reasons the campaign failed.  I think I’d attack the failure in a different way.

First a little background:

On December 1st a number of Hollywood stars decided to stop Twittering and Facebooking in an effort to raise $1,000,000 for Keep a Child Alive.  They included Usher, Justin Timberlake, Lada Gaga, Kim Kardashian and several more.

All of these stars became “Digitally Dead” and would not Tweet, or update Facebook until their fans gave $1,000,000 to the charity to help Children with Aids.

Now Rohit’s analysis points to the problems with the campaign:

  • Asking for too much money ($10 minimum) at the beginning turned a lot of people off.
  • The egotistical nature of the campaign, but don’t expect that from celebrities?
  • A poor connection between the celebrities and the charity
  • Going against the norm, celebs going quiet on Twitter is an oxymoron.

But here’s the problem I see with this.  When take a vow of silence you can’t talk about it.  That means that in today’s frenetic world people simply forget about you – out of sight, out of mind.

If I were in charge of the campaign, I would have had the stars send copious messages wishing they could talk about the great people, places and things they were doing, but they can’t because of the charity.  Here’s how it would have looked if I were running that campaign:

@LadyGaga I’d love to tell where I am & the cool people I”m with right now: but you need to help unsilence me by donating to…

@AliciaKeys Wish you could join me for lunch at – oops I can’t say until we raise $1Mil please donate to …

@jtimberlake I’m going to be somewhere tomorrow, want to know where?  I’d love to tell you but first you have to donate to…

@woodelijah I’d love to tell you about the new movie but I can’t till we raise another $500K pls help…

These kinds of teasers would be much more effective at keeping the program and goals in the minds of the fans.  And it would keep the stars talking which they of course want to do.

Telling a bunch of celebrities to be quiet is a bad idea.  I’m very surprised that they couldn’t come up with something more engaging.  I guess the stars felt they were making a personal sacrifice by going silent- so it’s a fine thought. But from a marketing perspective it’s a foolish move.

Give me 1 Good Reason why you have decided to run this campaign if you were in charge.

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Related Reasons:

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Tags: Marketing Monday

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jacob Varghese // Dec 13, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    I did not quite get the utility of the campaign.
    I did not think it would work when I first heard of it.
    If entertainers don’t entertain (or tweet), people will move on to other entertainment venues.

    But then I thought the ‘gurus’ know better :) . Apparently not.

  • 2 Rohit // Dec 13, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Great point – thanks for sharing your insights on this. You’re right that the biggest missed opportunity here was to harness all of their collective fans towards some action instead of choosing to stay silent.

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