Failed Social Media Campaigns in India

Ad-vani’s Political Campaign:

Indian politician Lalchand Kishan Advani, tried to position himself in lines of Obama as a ‘change agent’.  He spent an average of Rs. 250 crores for his genuinely pathetic ad campaigns. He literally targeted all the Indian sites with his aggressive Adwords. Perhaps, while promoting himself insanely he forgot that ‘Advani is not a new product on the market’ which needs crazy branding!

Instead of connecting to the people online in a non-intrusive manner or mobilizing the bloggers to write about him, he preferred spamming the sites of the whole wide India.  His blog also didn’t seem to appeal to the audience much and he failed both in the elections, and on social media.

One of the famous Indian blogger writes about Advani’s campaign as follows:

“We saw Advani becoming Ad -Vani with his aggressive adwords campaign targeting every indian site. At one point there were only his ads on every site we browsed.  The first and foremost reason it failed – We hate Ads.”

Dettol End of Day Confidence Challenge:

Dettol’s “End of Day Confidence Challenge” is a Facebook contest where the brand is asking men if they are still confident by the end of the day. So if you think that you are fresh and confident after 5PM, then upload your end of day picture or video and you may stand a chance to win an Adidas gift voucher worth INR 5000. That sure sounds exciting!

Dettol India’ Facebook page, which has a community of 29,568 fans, is simultaneously running a Facebook ad that leads to the contest. Even if you have not witnessed the ad, just click on the Dettol EOD Confidence Challenge Facebook app and once the authentication is done, you would end up on the below screen.

The Facebook App:

The contest which is exclusive for its fans is a no brainer. Once you are on the page you would see two actionable buttons – 1) View Contest Entries and 2) Enter the E.O.D Challenge.

On click of the Enter the E.O.D. Challenge button, it takes you to the screen to upload your entry.  You are asked to upload your picture, video or a Youtube link with a message where you need to describe the secret of your confidence. Once you have done this, click on the submit button and the photo would be uploaded. The screen also provides your message to be posted on the wall. However, the app does post on my behalf without my approval on my personal timeline. A clear misuse of Facebook app guidelines by Dettol India.

Once you have saved your entry, you would find it visible in the “View Contest Entries” section. Now is the interesting part as you will have to gain maximum number of likes from your community on your confident photo to win the voucher. Besides this, the app also provides sharing option so that you can share the contest among your friends. The sharing feature is described as a must for Facebook apps to be successful by pundits.

The campaign is not impressive, the entire contest fails to impress and is a dud for the following reasons:

  1. The incentive provided by the brand in this contest has no resemblance to the brand. It would have been great had the brand provided Dettol merchandise to the winners. It would have made much more sense than Rs.5000/- Adidas voucher.
  2. The contest is based on ‘Likes’ which is so 2010 kind of idea. Besides this, it is difficult for the brand to prevent bogus voting.
  3. The app also clearly misuses theapp guidelines of Facebook like most of the Facebook contests do so.
  4. Finally the contest is all about end of day confidence but the message is completely missing from the contest. There have been a bunch of uploads by participants andis difficult to figure out how is confidence being related to it.

Discount contest by Burger King

Burger King made an epic miscalculation when they came up with a Facebook campaign that asked their fans to grab a discount by ‘unfriending’ 10 friends. Facebook soon came forward and asked them to withdraw the campaign which was a serious damage to their business model. However, almost 234,000 friends were terminated by the fans by then and created criticisms elsewhere in social media.

‘Like’ a tweet? – INOX

Character limitations in Twitter tend to create typos. But, does it create things that don’t belong to this micro-blogging platform? INOX, in one of its tweet promotions asked the followers to like a tweet. If your social media manager mixes up Facebook with Twitter, you should be looking for a new guy.

Plagiarism! – Jabong via Flipkart, GoIbibo via Makemytrip

You wouldn’t want to plagiarize even if you have a serious lack of content writers. However, it was totally uncalled for when the e-com giant Jabong created a job listing in LinkedIn that said “wanted a Brand Head to drive awareness for the Flipkart brand”. GoIbibo had a bad day when Makemytrip uncovered a tweet that Goibibo copied from them.


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