Does social marketing have to seem sincere to be successful?
Yesterday at Beyonce’s concert in Antwerp, a Belgian advertising agency introduced the Pepsi Like Machine.
. The concept is simple. Provided you are in the vicinity of the machine, you just have to like Pepsi’s Facebook page and you get a free can of soda.
Kinda clever? Sure. New? Nah. Domain registrar Domain.com did it with this adorably homemade, Twitter-powered candy machine at South By Southwest.
Social media is a relatively new concept, and marketers (especially ones who are used to doing the old media thing) are still trying to figure out how to really make it work for them. Both of these companies are exploring a relatively cheap way to engage, but the problem is often with their audience’s perception. Domain.com is a small internet company that (we assume!) had to figure out a cheap way to avoid getting lost in the muck of South By Southwest. And while one could argue that candy has nothing to do with domain names, next time the average SXSW attendee needs to start a website their mind might just drift back to that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
But Pepsi used their very expensive Beyonce endorsement as a launch paid for what in this instance looks like a ploy (especially to cynics) to exchange their product for Facebook ‘Likes.’ When you can afford Super Bowl ads - any attempt at the DIY aesthetic is going to be perceived as trying too hard.
Then again - won’t the average person be simply stoked to get a free Pepsi for a tiny ‘like’? And then you got a bunch of people walking around with your branded cans, taking some sips and who knows, maybe deciding to convert from Coke to Pepsi.