How to Abuse Your Customers And Pass It Off As 'Marketing'
Coca-Cola was forced to acknowledge it had crapped the bed last week when news broke of a social media advertising campaign gone awry. Coca-Cola, which manufactures the Dr. Pepper brand in Europe, had launched a campaign which involved UK Facebook users giving permission for Dr. Pepper advertisers to post embarrassing status updates to their profiles in exchange for a chance to win money. This brilliant scheme of geniuses was running just dandy until a mother complained loudly and publicly about a particular status update posted on behalf of her 14-year-old daughter: "I watched 2 girls one cup and felt hungry afterwards." Whoops. How much Dr. Pepper does someone have to drink to think that referencing horrifying scatological pornography on a child's Facebook account was a good idea? Coca-Cola has since admitted that they approved the message without understanding the reference, implicitly blaming their advertising company for the foul up. I will grant that this is plausible, and it makes me just want to rush over and hug Coca-Cola and protect it from the horrible oozing cyst that the real world is. But I can't, because that's impractical and because the security guards out front of their offices are real uncomfortable with the idea. But even beyond that, think for a second about how this campaign was supposed to work. If this thing worked perfectly, if Coca-Cola managed to overcome their massive gaping head injuries, and execute their campaign flawlessly, how did they think embarrassing their customers would sell Dr. Pepper? What sort of volcano-genius advertising strike force came up with that idea? ___ Coca-Cola Executive: So what have you come up with for us? Advertising Guru: Glue smells like hugs! Coca-Cola Executive: I see. Tell me more. Advertising Guru: Let's mock your customers. That way they'll like you a bit less, and anyone who was previously indifferent to you will think you're fucking cretins! Coca-Cola Executive: That's good. Real good. But I feel like we're missing something… Poo-Flinging Monkey: -flings poo- Coca-Cola Executive: Yes! Your far-sighted wisdom has steered us true again, poo-flinging monkey. ___ People being dumb is one thing that I'm pretty used to by now, but the thing that really pisses me off about that probably-not-fictional discussion is that every one of those grass-eating morons probably
drives a better car than I do. So, operating under an "if you can't beat them, join them (then steal all their pens)" principle, I decided to craft my own advertising pitches for Dr. Pepper. Seeing as anyone who's not actively fucking their own hand can evidently walk right in to Coca-Cola and get an advertising contract, I figure this is a pretty good plan, and intend on sending the following pitches on to them just as soon as you finish spell-checking them for me.
Pitch #1 – Tagging Pictures
Willing volunteers will allow Dr. Pepper agents to add tags to pictures on that user's profile. The tags will all read "Dr. Pepper" and will be applied to "amusing" containers where Dr. Pepper would not normally be expected, such as wine glasses, shampoo bottles and swimming pools. Prestige-level Dr. Pepper fans can volunteer to have pictures of their significant other retagged as "Dr. Pepper," which will not only raise your products profile, but certainly end some relationships, and increase general misery. Recent market surveys indicate happy people do not drink Dr. Pepper, so this should indirectly boost sales.
Pitch #2 – Dr. Pepper Doctoring of Pictures
Very similar to Pitch #1, only in this scenario the user grants Dr. Pepper the ability to upload new photographs to their profile. Dr. Pepper agents will download existing photographs, manipulate them to include refreshing Dr. Pepper products or reflect Dr. Pepper approved political sentiments, then upload them to the user's profile for everyone to enjoy. "Amusing" examples include:
- Enjoying Dr. Pepper with friends
- Wearing Dr. Pepper branded clothing during a fight club
- Christening a baby in a vat of Diet Dr. Pepper.
- Like that two girls one cup thing, but with Dr. Pepper and 30 Turkish guys and a Slip 'N Slide.
Pitch #3 – Harassing Ex-Lovers
Using advanced algorithms, Dr. Pepper agents will analyze Dr. Pepper fans' friend lists and identify which are actually ex-lovers that the user still keeps in touch with. Via a series of private messages, wall posts and inappropriately tagged pictures of zoo animals mating, Dr. Pepper will then make that ex feel extremely uncomfortable, thus boosting misery and the associated anticipated increase in Dr. Pepper consumption.