Some Examples of Failed Social Media Campaigns in India

Advani Election Campaign, 2009

L. K. Advani launched an aggressive ad words campaign targeting every Indian site. His ad were there on almost every second site one visited. Even if it projected BJP and Advani as the political fixtures using contemporary technologies to communicate with the masses, the campaign was largely advertisement campaign. Reasons why it failed to gain traction –

No interactive media – It was simply a branding campaign about a party and person who have been in forefront of Indian politics since ages. Social Media campaigns typically thrive on appeal, uniqueness, involvement it offers to the audience. In the absence of all these creative features it was simply a dud.

Dettol India Online Contest 2012

Dettol India launched a campaign specifically targeting the confident Indian male. The challenge was named “End of the Day Confidence Challenge”. It was a Facebook contest, where in the brand asked the men that if they are still confident by end of the day. Anyone who think that he was confident after 5 PM could post his picture or video. People would “Like” the picture or video and highest liked feature stood a chance of winning Adidas gift voucher worth INR 5,000.

The contest sounded interesting and promising but did not prove to be one. Some of the reason for failure were –

1) No product involvement – The gift vouchers belonged were of Adidas. It could have been more promotional to give Dettol gift vouchers.

2) Unclear message – Just posting a message of how you felt after 5 PM did not show any significance of any Dettol product.

3) Screening by online users – No one was sure of what were the mechanism to deal with bogus “Likes”. People knew this and criticised for the short sightedness.
4) Violation of Facebook guidelines – The Facebook page showed two options – to enter the contest and another to view the entries. Once a person would have posted his picture of video it was posted on his behalf on his Facebook timeline. This was clearly against the Facebook guideline of use. This also invited rebuke from online users.
Ford Figo Online Contest 2012

On the occasion of completing two years in India Ford Figo launched campaign celebrating its 2nd birthday during entire March of 2012. The celebration in the form of a contest called “B’Day 2 Remember” could be seen on Figo’s website as well as social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Contest page showed some interesting videos in the form of invite and asked you to join. To join the contest one had to –

1) Invite 5 more friends and spread the word about birthday party.

2) Tweet invitation to increase your chances of winning.

3) Fill up a form with a birthday message.

The basic idea of the campaign was quick, simple and “inviting” but it failed to generate traction. Reason being –

Screening by the users. The app flouted the Facebook guidelines and did not ask for permission before posting it to user timelines. Also there was no clear information about how the contest was going to be judged. This could not escape the notice of users and slowly campaign lost its credibility.

Yet another example of alertness of social media users!!


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