Case Studies: How Three Companies Handle Promotions, Communications When Things Don't Go According to Plan

Marketing to Women: Addressing Women and Women's Sensibilities, July 2010 | Go to article overview

Case Studies: How Three Companies Handle Promotions, Communications When Things Don't Go According to Plan


In a perfect world, every promotion and marketing plan rolls out exactly as planned. Back in the real world, however, even the most comprehensive and foolproof plans can go astray. This month we look at recent troubled efforts by The Knot, Procter & Gamble (P&G), and Nestle with the aim of determining the most appropriate ways to handle such situations and how to avoid the pitfalls in the first place.

Mommy Bloggers Attack

Mommy bloggers tend to wield their power in positive ways, but Nestle found out how much heat the moms can bring when they turn on you. Last fall, the company invited 20 mom (and dad) bloggers to a sponsored California vacation to jumpstart its new social media efforts.

Uninvited bloggers attacked the attendees for breaching a long-standing boycott of Nestle over its marketing of baby formula in third world countries. Not realizing social media is an uncontrollable force, Nestle was hoping to facilitate a dialogue among bloggers, not be the hot topic of conversation.

Bottom Line: However worthy its intentions, Nestle, under its Nestle Family unit, made a fundamental conceptual error here. "I'm sure they were uncomfortable when they saw they were outnumbered and in an uncontrolled environment," says Lucid Marketing's Kevin Burke. "From the beginning, the situation was precarious. Nestle Family was not active on Twitter, but they were encouraging bloggers attending their event to tweet, and then aggregate those tweets on a web page. Essentially they were trying to borrow some social media credibility and momentum from the attending bloggers, but without making the commitment and investment themselves."

Burke believes Nestle would have been better served by inviting bloggers to the corporation for a conversation without attempting to brand and market the event, and then allocating resources and responsibility for using Twitter as a communication platform. He notes that the company's Nestle Family Twitter page has since been removed.

The key takeaway is that no brand can ever predict how or what will be said, but if a dialogue or campaign does turn negative, it's essential to respond quickly and honestly.

Spread The Exposure

As part of the brand reinvention for Pantene hair care, P&G aligned with musician Bret Michaels for the "Be the Rock Star You Are" promotion running throughout summer 2010. Michaels appears in national advertising and one grand-prize winner was set to receive VIP access to one of Michaels' summer concerts, including a ride in his tour bus and backstage passes.

However, in April 2010, Michaels suffered a near-fatal brain hemorrhage and the question of whether he would be able to perform again was rendered moot by doctors' uncertainty over the extent of his disability. Amazingly, he did recover, but his once-perilous condition caused P&G to waffle on the offer of the campaign prize.

Bottom Line: P&G made a wise decision by using Michaels as a small portion of a larger campaign. This makes it easy to play up other components, such as the other spokesperson Stacy London and the search for a reality hair star. In short, never focus a campaign on one element, channel, or personality.

"[Women] understand that things don't always go as planned. Parenthood can teach you that quickly. They understand Bret's situation, and Pantene had good intentions and no influence over that situation.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Case Studies: How Three Companies Handle Promotions, Communications When Things Don't Go According to Plan
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.