Wow! What a week for social media firestorms. First, Amazon. Then, Dominos. All accompanied by the incredible voice of Susan Boyle. Here are the stories of the week:
1) Amazon and the hero's journey: Church of the Customer
A nice recap (with diagrams!) of the Amazon debacle that spawned #glitchmyass t shirts and a torrent of tweets on that hash as well as #amazonfail. Amazon just couldn't catch up with what it had wrought--perhaps it hadn't had enough practice being the villain? As Russ Meyer commented on the Landor blog: "Hashtag. If you don’t know what that word means and you’re a marketer, you'd better go look it up in the Urban Dictionary—quick."
2) You got three minutes...to destroy your brand: Landor.com
The other social media firestorm of the week was unleashed when two renegade Domino's Pizza employees videoed themselves doing disgusting things to pizzas and uploaded this to YouTube. The company was slow to react initially (and slow means not instantaneously) leaving too much time for the brand to be damaged. Finally, it got on track, got the video (and copies) removed and replaced with a video of its own from the CEO. David Kiley's BusinessWeek post on the same topic shows what happened during the week to the company's quality and buzz ratings. It was bad.
3) Susan Boyle - Britains Got Talent 2009 Episode 1: Britain's Got Talent
From Bathgate to everywhere. An epic story which, as Dan Heath points out, had all the right sticky elements to go supernova. It's been downloaded around 25 million times this last week. If you are not one of the 25 million, it's well worth a look.
4) Lindsay Lohan's eHarmony profile: Funny or Die
Meanwhile, Lindsay Lohan showed some media savvy of her own this week by recording this spoof dating ad after her widely reported break-up with Samantha Ronson. Her pitch: "I'm a workaholic, a shopaholic and according to the state of California, an alcoholic."
5) How to Become a "Death of Newspapers" Blogger: Huffington Post
If you are looking for your own opportunity for social media stardom, here's a "how to" guide for one increasingly popular path. Paul Dailing describes the process for becoming a fully-fledged newspaper death blogger. "Apparently, it's very simple. The more you self-reference, pick feuds and talk about the failure of TimesSelect, the better you're doing. If you make it sound like you're the one who figured out newspapers are dying, you win."
6) Pixazza: A price tag inside web photos: Thought Gadgets
Ben Kunz points to Pixazza, a photo-ad integration company that just got $5.8 million worth of VC support. It embeds ads into photos so when users scroll over things like clothes being worn by an actress, little price tags appear. Move to that price tag and a window pops up explaining the product and where to buy it. As Ben says: "Clever. Unobtrusive."
That's it! When I'm not blogging, I'm sometimes Twittering as #martinjbishop. See you here or there for more stories from the world of brand strategy.