This week's Marketing In the Digital Age edition focuses on marketing gone wrong, from a women's snack to tasering a dead rat. I will leave us, though, on a positive note of creative Instagram monetization.
Summary: Director McKay posted a twitter poll asking fans a question about casting for his upcoming Nightwing film.
Opinion: There is a right way to use social media, and then there's this way. The qualities McKay references are not mutually exclusive. Moreover, being Romani is central to this character's identity, and this alludes to the possibility of eliminating his original ethnicity. Please tweet responsibly.
Summary: After posting many questionable videos, the tasering of a dead rat, encouraging followers to participate in the Tide Pod challenge (eating laundry detergent), and the leading one of which was filming the body of a person who committed suicide, YouTube announced it would temporarily suspend ads on his channel (translation: no ad revenue on his channel).
Opinion: Even though Paul took a one-month hiatus after filming the suicide and spoke about mental health awareness, YouTube should have taken action then to suspend the YouTube star after this initial incident. The dead rat and Tide Pod challenge should have only furthered that suspension. As we have seen the results from the 2016 elections, for better and worse, platforms need to be more involved in what is being broadcast off their channels. The suspension is at least a positive step towards that, and I hope to see a reasonable level of moderation continue.
Summary: Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi announced Doritos would be releasing a line of Doritos aimed at women because they snack differently. Women apparently do not want a Dorito that crunches loudly or leaves a cheesy film on their fingers.
Opinion: This was surprising to me for a company with a female CEO. Although it may be true we snack differently, having a CEO come out and say they were building a version of the snack aimed at women seems dated. A better approach could have been announcing the release of the product and letting the market gravitate towards what it wants.
Summary: Instead of using social channels to promote other brands, some Chinese Instagram influencers have used their popularity to promote their own brands. Haiyan Fu ("Ava") and Nikki Min teamed up to create their own fashion line, Ave & Nikki. American influencers have begun to dip their toes into this, but China has already developed a robust market around it with a projected worth of the influencer economy at $15.5 billion (yes, USD). Part of this is the ease at which Chinese social media sites (Weibo, WeChat, etc.), allow for e-commerce transactions, while Instagram and other US platforms have yet to offer this option.
Opinion: These are smart influencers. If you are promoting something, why not promote something you've created and monetize that? It expands commerce and markets. Could their success be a window into a similar function being built into Instagram and other platforms in the future?