One thing I absolutely detest is bull—-, my feelings are kind of relevant because obviously the same sentiment is held by a large portion of people.

Recently in my course covering IMC, we talked about integrating viral content into an IMC plan. I don’t think this is a great idea, because IMC’s are all about synergising media strategy to achieve the campaign objectives and viral content is something that is very unpredictable and unreliable.

Anyway I wanted to talk about a failure by Witchery Men’s that fall into the Homemade Failure of the Kaplan and Haenlein initiator outcome matrix. The brand tried to generate awareness and improve attitudes for their menswear branch. They did this via a poorly acted (another pet peeve of mine) video posted online, they then PR’d it featuring on morning shows and things that the target audience (,women who buy their male partners clothing,) consume.

The swindle went of for a couple of weeks, with people getting involved, trying to help this young woman find some guy who left their “beautiful” “silk lined” “beautiful stripped interior”’d jacket at a cafe. Eventually the truth surfaced and Witchery had to apologise and then deleted all the content on the channel they created to play with peoples emotions to promote awareness of their brand.

A lesson to be learned from this and creating viral content would be that honesty is the best policy. I’m totally okay with large corporations playing with emotive responses from people, as long as their honest with the content they use to do this.

What are your feelings towards brands that lie to people?

Do you have any examples of brands lying to people?


2 thoughts on “TFW your virus fails

  1. Hi!

    Good post on your take on viral marketing. I think viral marketing have many successful examples for example like the issue of Kim Kardashian on Paper magazine or even the “damn daniel” viral video unintentionally helped VANS sales soar. I think it is one good example of the success of viral marketing. I have also written the part on Witchery viral campaign on my blog where consumers felt that they were lied to. I generally feel that this Witchery campaign backfired on them and resulted in alot of backlash. I think brands have to be careful with their campaign as not many consumers may feel alright with putting themselves in a position where they actually participated honestly but it was actually a hoax from the start. have you ever wondered that since it became viral, more people know about the brand name? Maybe, there was an increase in brand awareness, but it came along with a negative brand association.

    Reading your post was enjoyable! good job!!


    1. Absolutely,
      I think it succeeded in raising brand awareness but very poor brand attitudes which is something I think would be very important for Witchery.

      I’m not sure what the lasting effects of this kind of event are. Witchery is still around but I don’t know how it faired after this event. It would be interesting to understand the dynamics of certain brand identities and the amount they rely/importance they place on brand attitudes as opposed to awareness.

      I’m sure there are brand out there that follow the “all publicity is good publicity” train of thought. Would you agree?


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