advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I’d take a common sense czar, though.

Long before three-quarters of the current *passionate about social media* crowd even knew how to spell Twitter, let alone there even being a Twitter, I’d proposed an idea for an automotive brand to have a culture czar, someone to work with the chief marketing officer. I’d used those words to describe the position internally even though I might shy away from them as an official title. Czar is so military, innit!

The thinking being though that leaving the brand’s guidance of all marketing departments up to separate agencies (as is typically the case), would likely result in a less cohesive approach versus overseeing those things internally. Especially for a brand into fashion, music and entertainment as this one was.

To do that, the brand of course would need someone versed in all of those areas. Again, it’s not a move for every brand because it needs to fit the particular DNA of the company. More importantly, the company needs to be open to the idea, otherwise they’re just wasting their time.

I was reminded of it after seeing MTV’s current TJ promotion to find the next social media face of that brand. Which, in turn, reminded me of how the social media czar role got attention a year or so ago when Uncle Sam jumped into the mix. That’s Price Floyd up top, whose title is Special Advisor for International Communication for the Department of Defense. Aka, social media czar. In the spirit of government acronyms, that would be SMC for short. (On the civilian side, think Scott Monty of Ford.)

Having been in one too many meetings with brands lately and their *partner* agencies hearing them propose things that make me scratch body parts, what I’d rather see now is a common sense czar. Someone who can basically step back and look at whatever the brand is doing and call timeout if there’s a glaring omission or inclusion of something that will incite customer ire.

I don’t mean legal. I don’t mean focus groups, nor communities like Lego that participate ahead of time in product development. And while you might argue that social media has already given brands this in the form of Mommy Blogger Nation™ feedback, it’s generally after the widget leaves the factory, no?

What I mean is one person able to look at the big picture and go “Hey, did anyone think of...?”

Several major PR shops have failed to do this with current social media initiatives. Luckily for them PR is like the House in Vegas, even when the client loses, they win because they’ll be there on the backend to help the CEO explain it away on YouTube when the promotion goes horribly wrong.

Granted, nothing is certain when you launch any campaign, and you can never tell who will be offended by what you put out there. But how many times have you looked at something that went awry and knew that all that was needed was maybe an extra pair of eyes asking the right question ahead of time, just by using a little...

1 comment:

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