June 17, 2010

Social Mediocrity

As regular readers know, there are few things that make me more cheerful and insufferably smug than sticking pins in pathetic social media schemes.

Earlier this week, The New York Times ran a big story in their "Media and Advertising" section about a product for arthritic baby boomers called Elations. The story devoted a good deal of space to a social media program that Elations is engaged in. Here is some of what The Times wrote...
Now the brand is embarking on an online marketing effort...to align itself with aging consumers’ predilections for volunteerism and social media. In a contest called Boomers Building a Better America on the Facebook page of Elations, the brand is accepting nominations for community projects, which Facebook users can vote on...
...a panel that includes the former Olympic gymnasts Bart Conner and Nadia Comaneci (now husband and wife) will choose three projects, and those will win $10,000...
Boomers have the highest volunteer rate of any age group, at 33.2 percent, compared with a national average of 29 percent...
And 46 percent of boomers were on a social media network in 2009, up from 30 percent in 2007, according to eMarketer, a research firm.
Since this idea sounded exactly like about half a million other social media whack-a-thons I've listened to in the past year, and because I'm just that kind of prick, I decided to go to Elations Facebook page and see how this brilliant plan was coming.

I figured with a big story in the NYTimes it had to have attracted some heavy-duty consumer attention. But, as you can imagine, I was secretly hoping it was a big stinky turd.

Well, it's stinky beyond my wildest imagination. After all this publicity, as of 11:30 pm EDT yesterday, there were a total of 836 followers.

Apparently Nadia Comaneci has lost some of her fabulous charisma.

Just as an aside, here's a little tip for you young 'uns working at the agency -- Boomers Building A Better America? We tried that. It didn't work.

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