Welcome to the Hotel Campari…such a lovely place, such a lovely face

by Marianne Richmond on November 29, 2006

OK, well I guess those lyrics belong to the Hotel California which sounds just as creepy as Hotel Campari looks. Hotel California is a place in a song and Hotel Campari is a place in an advertising campaign. We know that, right?

 BL Ochman asks, "How does Campari’s Hotel Campari campaign compare to the Edelman Wal-mart flogs? Campari is using a veritable buffet of social networks to promote their brand. They are on YouTube, have a MySpace profile, and a Flickr site; but as BL notes, the inhabitants are fake and the" campaign is as unethical as Wal-Mart and other flogs."

 I agree that they are fake. I just don’t agree that in this case, fake is unethical. It’s an advertising campaign that is using social media. What put the Edelman-Wal-Mart situation over the line was the lack of disclosure involved; I think it is reasonably clear that the Campari campaign is advertising.

Jeff Jarvis writing on the subject of word of mouth (another interesting topic) notes that, "if you want to market, then do what marketers do: Buy ads. The nice thing about an ad is that it is a transparent act of marketing. An ad comes with its own borders around it: You buy space or time to tell your story to my public, who can tell that you bought it and can then judge whether you also managed to buy my integrity and soul. The ad, by its very form, puts that relationship clearly out in public. Ads also support news and entertainment, and have for a century or more, and so I hope they also start to support blogging, vlogging, podcasting, and all that. When you don’t buy an ad and try to influence us behind the scenes, for money or not, then you get in trouble. And you should."ÂÂ

Oh, I know that the Campari ad campaign is on social networks, therefore not a "bought ad"….but it is transparent just the same. Now, a slightly different question is, "can an advertising campaign BE a social network?" Richard MacManus at Read/Write Web gets to the essential issue when he asks, "How can you have a real social networking community around a fake, marketing-driven user profile?" Good question but quite honestly, I am not sure there is a definitive answer.

A sample of my own MySpace friends might illustrate the blurred definition and ask the question, "What is real in a social networking community?" I think I know that Willy Wonka and I do not a relationship although I do think the wonkavator explains a lot about consumer engagement.

The Campari client according to Richard MacManus believes the campaign has been very successful and has built community. The relationship that Campari is trying to build is between the brand and its users. They are not exactly doing a Wall-Mart or a Lonleygirl. The Washington Post elaborates on some of the other "deceptive fakes."

Niccolò Magnani, from the Campari agency MRM Worldwide told MacManus,

"Our strategy was to focus on viral seeding and social networking, no traditional media adv online. I have no idea of the exact number of people going from Social Networks to Website […] because we worked with a lot of social networks.

More than quantity, what I like to point is the quality of the relationship between users and Campari. Client is very happy about the close relationship between the brand and the users.

What I like is that we created a community of people that we can further talk about red passion."

This is an example of an advertising campaign that uses social media. It is not pretending to be anything else. Oh sure it is raunchy and soft porn and lots of other things perhaps that I don’t think needs to be part of advertising. But, then again I don’t drink Campari and they are not really trying to build a relationship with me.

It’s just not an Edelman Walmart. And to quote Jeff Jarvis again, "That is one of the morals of the Edelman Wal-Mart blogging mess: The agency tried to hide in the old ways of PR but once exposed for its manipulation ended up doing more harm to itself and its client(s) and brand than if it had just done nothing."

Richard Edelman also referenced Jeff Jarvis in a post entitled, "A Thanksgiving Reverie on the Fork in the Road" which I think indicates that he is still in denial. Edelman writes, "We are now at the fork in the road, where we will be able to say that we moved forward after an awkward start in our rookie year on the field, or can look back wistfully at what might have been."

This was not a social media ethical lapse. It was an ethical lapse, period. And is Richard Edelman a rookie? In what field?

And how does one charge clients in that context?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

powered by Qumana

Similar Posts:

    None Found

Be Sociable, Share!

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: