Week 8 – WKD, Giving Social Media a Wicked Side

28 03 2011

Social media such as Facebook, has become a popular medium for brands to perform their marketing efforts. Bovens (2008 pp 3) talk about ways in which the government use social advertising to influence behaviour by “providing us with information or by affecting our emotions”. Brands can also do this just as effectively. An example of a brand which had this effect on me was WKD, the alcopop brand. Their social advertising made me want to try the brand’s drinks as I was intrigued as to whether it would actually allow me to experience a so called, ‘wicked side!’

WKD is also a brand that makes much use of social media in terms of its marketing. In October 2010, the brand launched its 12 week Facebook marketing campaign, “Win Nothing”, involving a series of online films about “Wayne, a fictional WK employee who has run off with the company’s promotional prize fund”(Kimberly  2010) Every week, a video diary was launched by Wayne, to taunt people with clues as to where he could be. Facebookers were then encouraged to attend bars for a chance to earn rewards.

I personally thought this was a brilliant idea for a marketing campaign as its original, encourages sales and keeps consumers interested in the campaign and essentially the brand, by running a series of online films with a storyline. From an ethical stance, the campaign is likely to be viewed as exploitation of consumers and an encouragement of excessive alcohol consumption. However no complaints were received and the campaign ran its full length. A likely reasoning behind this is that the CAP code had not yet been enforced. Before the CAP code was realised on March 1st 2011, the law was pretty loose  in terms of what companies could do for their online advertising. However, since this date, brands who now advertise online within the UK, must comply to the rules of the CAP code  in addition to the more established laws, ‘freedom of information act’ (2000) and the ‘data protection act’(1998).

Till Grüne-Yanoff and S.O. Hansson (2008) Preference Change: Approaches from Philosophy,

Economics and Psychology, Berlin and New York: Springer, Theory and Decision Library A,

Chapter 10.

WKD social media campaign to follow rogue employee

Sara Kimberley, campaignlive.co.uk, 12 October 2010,

http://www.brandrepublic.com/go/news/article/1034324/wkd-social-media-campaign-follow-rogue-employee/

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