Video was removed was YouTube .... well it just proves all my points. However video can be seen here.
Danish Mother Seeking is busted! Karen26, Danish mother seeking... was hired by Visit Denmark to promote Denmark abroad. This is rather disappointing that such a good idea that would work really good to promote safe sex, was used to promote Denmark. That's also pretty shocking that such an angle was chosen to tell the story of Denmark.
After finding out who was behind the campaign, I must say I asked myself about the ethics - not about the ethics of use of social media, but about the ethics of the content, about the way the governmental company chooses to present Denmark for the world. Respect is missing.
Let's look at aftermath first: over 1 million views, over 5.000 comments and lot of commotion on blogs and in mainstream media...primarily in Denmark. It is pretty understandable Danes are shocked over the way their compatriots have chosen to promote their country. It is like a bad reality show. The comments from Visit Denmark and agency behind - Grey Copenhagen heats the situation even more up. I heard Peter Helstrup, strategic director at Grey Copenhagen say:
"I think, this is the most effective campaign, that was ever created for a danish company"
Well, this is impressive viral campaign that used controversy, fake & real approach and delivered over million views in just 3 days. As I wrote yesterday views, buzz has nothing to do with effectiveness, it has nothing to do with social media. This is just a tactical and short-term solution, deeply rooted in traditional media thinking focusing on creating controversy in order to boost up views numbers on YouTube (views are still shiny objects for so many). They could as well just show bare breasts. (Btw I would like to hear more about the goals that were set up for the campaign apart from views and appearance on TV2)
What about relevancy of the campaign? I keep on asking myself, how this campaign is relevant for Denmark? Isn't Visit Denmark's major goal to attract tourists to Denmark? It seems like the major efforts were put into promoting this video in Denmark. Apparently, Denmark is where the most response came from. I googled this morning to find any comment, any blog post about the campaign outside the boarders of scandalized Denmark. I found one at Mashable titled: Danish Woman’s One Night Stand Video Is a Government Hoax. Not to mention the comments that appeared on YouTube.:
"its amazing to see all the foreigners who have lived in denmark for a
long time (decade or more) come out and slam Denmark. I lived there for
a decade too, and was disgusted by the petty racism and xenophobia. Not
to mention shallow women who will fuck you but not even hold a civil
"Lets get to Denmark, and get laid! that its all folks! Nobody is interesting in little right wings shiit Denmark!"
No one can deny it - the campaign has backfired and it seems there is no plan to handle the crisis situation. I've heard around that Visit Denmark is deleting comments from people that criticize the campaign.Is it true?!
This is where public engagement begins and we can talk about social media marketing and Visit Denmark seems to be unprepared to handle it. This is when the real things happen - not while the views counter is going up and people leave comments hoping she will find the father of the child, but when the discussion gets heated and opinions about content appear all over the Internet.
Visit Denmark got blinded by the shiny promise of millions of views and lot of buzz. They got those views along with disgusted, disappointed, shocked people and apparently no plan how to handle the bad response video generated.
Companies and agencies chase the shiny objects like buzz and views, missing the big picture and opportunities that are available for creating the public engagement and relationships. Using social media tools will not make you social. We keep on mistaking traditional media campaigns using social media with social media marketing. Social media marketing is about ideas that are rooted in understanding of human behavior and emotions and that get people together, make their lives more exciting or easier. Social media marketing is about people (not views)
Is the next episode coming: Danish Tourist Agency Seeking the lost trust...