With a war cry of #captureeuphoria, Ben & Jerry’s recent attempt at rallying its 127,000 Instagram followers has skidded on a couple social media patches.
The “Euphoria” campaign, reflecting the supposed feeling of joy you get from eating Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, urges users to capture kodak moments with its brand. If we consider the social technographics ladder, Ben & Jerry’s is essentially shoving its top-tier creators into the world and leveraging said user-generated content to create 20 adverts for the brand.
Consider, evaluate, buy, experience, advocate. By encouraging users to show euphoric moments via Instagram, the idea was to push the passive customers into brand evangelists. Amplify the positive, that’s what social media’s about right? Since 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations (while only 14% trust advertisements), by calling out to the community to take snapshots for their adverts, Ben & Jerry’s leverages on the trust associated with user-generated content.
However, couple days after the launch, an army of Instagram users have started sabotaging the contest with depressing photos that are anything but “euphoric”. Dreary pictures of abandoned roads, sad looking dogs, and people’s behinds are just a couple of the scenes on the Instagram feed.
But what went wrong?
What stopped Ben & Jerry’s campaign from being a standing ovation like campaign 30 Million Directors, by DDB and Canadian Tourism, which rallied citizens from around Canada to submit video excepts of Canadian experiences worthy of marvel?
Not to say that Ben & Jerry’s didn’t have the resources, they just didn’t consider the depth that a social media campaign needs to be thought through in order to be executed flawlessly. This is also not to say the Europhia campaign won’t work, because it probably will. Among the rows of butts and sad dogs, Ben & Jerry’s will most likely find enough cute toddlers eating ice cream to launch great adverts with. However, this hiccup along the road could have been avoided had Ben & Jerry’s filtered their Instagram feed. Instead of allowing automatic publishing of any photo tagged with #CaptureEuphoria, they could have set up a conversation centre to monitor the feed. What they needed was some sort of filter.
Sure, everyone wants a self-sustaining campaign, but some things just need to be monitored. Diligently too. Because there are terrible people in the world who like to post pictures of butts instead of cute toddlers. I digress.
Prior to the launch, Ben & Jerry’s should have established a set of criterion that images had to meet in order to be published and a way to enforce it (filter feeds live, re-direct approved photos to an alternate campaign page, etc.). They could even post the photos at certain times of the day and schedule “euphoric moments/blasts” where approved photos would be posted by the batch. This would have prevented the blemishes on the campaign, and preserved the Ben & Jerry’s charm.