Nestle has brought out a suite of viral videos, that are sure to cause a lot of discussion on how bad they are. Benny Hill reruns springs to mind. However mixing the marketing shouldn’t mean mixing the messages – telling consumers on one hand that the company wants to engage with them, to listen to them in social media channels, exchange dialogue yet on t’other scream at them from the TV, radio, newspaper and viral video sites “on brand” messages is just schizophrenic.

Is Nestle’s demographic horny men lusting after Germanic farm girls in braids, or educated women and mothers who do the shopping? Dunno, suspect the latter.

Actually, sorry Benny old man, your skits were funnier though not to my taste. There’s something here in the vein of “Man does not live on bread alone” ads, but less brave. They featured a medieval baker disappearing into the back room with a Heidi for some slap ‘n tickle but were actually connected to the brand (a supermarket bread) more closely.

I just don’t see Heidi as being the face of Nestle do you ?

Shoot the agency, get a strategy rather than campaigns. If you think of a social media strategy as steps to be taken in this order :

  1. What does the customer want from us, our Values
  2. Where do we engage, Social Spaces
  3. How do we develop Social Identity, our Profile, Social Brand
  4. What Roles do we undertake (customer service, marketing, visionary)
  5. Influencers and engagement
  6. Etiquette and human-in-corporate voice, (often moved into 3.)
  7. Campaigns and viral spiked events (short term)
  8. Rituals and ethnographic anthropology
  9. Ripple effect and promotional tribes

Then you can see campaigns come in a 7. I’m guessing they hadn’t looked at how to work in a longer term engagement within social media.

I really wish companies would think twice before inflicting these “viral” messages on us. I truly believe that a “COME AND GET IT!!!!” traditional shouty message  conflicts with the “We want to engage with you” softly approach. Nestle need to get on message or they are in danger of destroying their credible brand image. Sooner rather than later.

Hat tip: Mashable