So there I was, minding my own business… poring over my extensive collection of Yanni ablums when a good friend of mine sends me an email with a link to a story.
And not just any article, no this was a piece about a product, which seemingly had achieved enormous success – to the tune of $1 billion in sales, without lifting one social media finger.
The product is Febreeze, the delightfully smelling air-freshener from Proctor & Gamble and the article was penned by Jonathan Salem Baskin. In his piece, which Mr. Baskin whimsically titled The iPad of Air-Care, he compares Febreeze to Apple…
“Febreze introduced 37 new products or variations in the first nine months of 2010, choosing to let them “do the talking” for the brand much as Apple lets its less-frequent introductions do the same.”
Wow, sounds great, doesn’t it? Mr. Baskin further states his case by telling readers that “Febreze isn’t creating entertaining “content” for its consumers to enjoy on YouTube, or allowing them to share on its Facebook site their personal stories about overcoming odor problems (I can’t find an official-looking FB page for the brand).” And that he “couldn’t find a single customer complaint it fixed on Twitter.”
Wow again… Who needs social media?
Upon Further Review…
Wait… hang on.
“Febreze isn’t creating entertaining “content” for its consumers to enjoy on YouTube?”
You mean like this?
And Febreeze doesn’t allow them (consumers) to share on its Facebook site their personal stories about overcoming odor problems and you couldn’t even find an official Facebook page, right?
Hmmm… then I’m not quite sure what these are…
And you also stated that you “couldn’t find a single customer complaint it fixed on Twitter” right?
Well there you may have something because I too could not find any “customer complaint [Febreeze] fixed on Twitter.” Not that I spent a whole helluva lot time looking mind you but it surely didn’t take me to long to find:
The YouTube Channel
The Facebook Page
And it sure didn’t take me very long to find this…
What this is, in case you didn’t know Mr. Bskin, is a screen shot taken from search.twitter.com. And as you can plainly see, people are in fact discussing the virtues of Febreeze.
The Consumer Is In Control…
And that’s precisely what social media non-believers like Mr. Baskin and Bob Hoffman, AKA The Ad Contrarian, don’t get. Advertisers, companies & agencies don’t control what is being said via social media.
The consumer does!
Even if there were no Febreeze Facebook Page or You Tube channel, people would still be talking about it online…
Why? Because they can!
I don’t know Mr. Baskin from Baskin Robbins and I’m sure he’s a very nice man, and I very much enjoy reading The Ad Contrarian but… what these two gentlemen, and many like them unfortunately, do not seem to grasp nor understand is…
Social media is here to stay; deal with it.
Consumers control the conversation.
Social media was NEVER meant to be a replacement nor substitute for quote/unquote traditional advertising and marketing! It was meant to support it; work in unison with it; be one part of an overall strategy.
And if you still doubt the power of social media and its influence, consider the case of Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. A billion views on her You Tube channel later, 30 million likes on her Facebook Page later, and now “The Queen of Twitter” … you know her better as Lady Gaga.
Here’s the bottom line…
Mr. Baskin nailed it when he wrote: “Selling products that people want to buy.”
That’s it right there… Without a viable product that people want to buy, it doesn’t matter which medium/platform you use.