It must have seemed like a good idea at the time. Farm out the marketing of your Christmas promotions to the public, with a free phone each day as an incentive, and let Twitter crowdsource your advertising for you, and take an early lunch. What could go wrong? Everything, if your company happens to be one of Britain’s biggest taxdodgers, and the general public are not happy.
The gang at @UKuncut learned about Vodafone’s unimaginative campaign around half nine this morning. Almost immediately, dozens of Tweeters were merrily hijacked Vodafone’s hashtag, #mademesmile, with their own creative quips. The company’s pain was magnified by the fact the stream was being published directly to their website. UK Uncut would like to thank Vodafone for all the free advertising. Here’s some screenshots courtesy of the great people at False Economy:
Within an hour #mademesmile was trending, and zipped to the top of Twitter’s trending topic list. Instead of the collection of warm, fuzzy feelings Vodafone had been hoping to have associated with their brand, visitors to the stream were treated to a barrage of tweets lambasting the company for dodging taxes. First we occupied their stores, then we occupied their hashtag. As one tweet put it – you’d have thought, with £6bn of our money, they could afford better advertising.