(This was originally posted on Web Strategy)
This is a list of companies that were blind-sided by the Internet. They either didn’t understand the impacts of the power shift to the participants, or how fast information would spread, or were just plain ignorant.
Criteria of “Punk’d” includes a situation where the story would have not been told if social media was not available, or if social media enhanced the situation.
This doesn’t include fake blogs, companies who deliberately tried to cheat the system get their own honorable mention.
Although this punk’d list is the one to stay off, the one you want to get on is the Groundswell awards.
Dominos employees YouTube themselves to court
Millions are grossed out by two Dominos employees who uploaded a video to YouTube of them blowing snot on pizzas at a Dominos stores. Interestingly, the crowd was able to pinpoint their location, they’ve now been fired and are facing felony charges, NYTs has more. Thanks to Josh for the tip. (Category 3, and perhaps 4 if this doesn’t get cleaned up)
Scandal: Belkin pays for positive review
This scandal leaves consumers not sure if they can trust the positive reviews about Belkin products. As one employee offered to pay users of Amazon’s Mechnical Turk to write positive reviews. Once Belkin was pointed out, they issued a mea culpa suggesting this was an isolated event, but now, it’s suggested that these orders came from executives. (Category 2, yet if the Fed gets involved, it go to Category 3 or 4)
Motrin gets headache from Twittering mums
A well-intended Motrin ad launched towards baby carrying mums triggered them to revolt on twitter. On this quiet weekend it spread to blogs, YouTube, and then mainstream press. Some argue the mums were acting more like a mob, Motrin didn’t test it’s copy with the target audience up front –leaving everyone with a splitting headache. (Category 2)
CNN falls for rumour –sinking Apple stock
A rumour created by community created news site iReport that falsified CEO Steve Jobs having a heart attack spread to mainstream media website CNN, and caused a dip in stock price. User generated content will always have the risk of falsified content. (Category 4)
Exxon Mobil Brandjacked in Twitter
The twitter community (myself included) was eager to embrace “Janet” a no holds barred up front in your face corporate representative that was ready to tackle the hard issues –sometimes without grace. Unfortunately, to the Twittersphere’s surprise and Exxon, Janet, is not an official company representative she claimed to be. Read the story to unravel the multiple angles to this unique case. (Category 2)
JC Penney Brandjacked by fake “sex” Ad
We’re seeing more ads being created. In this case a ‘third party vendor’ (agency, I think) created this and submitted it to Cannes. JC Penney wasn’t happy and had it removed from YouTube. Unfortunately, blogs picked it up and it will never go away, video is here, I know you want to click. (Category 2)
Louis Vuitton gets Brandjacked in Anti-Genocide Campaign
Artist creates and sells T-shirt demonstrating how the media turns a deaf ear to real world tradgeies such as genocide in Dafur, infringing on LV logo. LV fires back, with lawsuit, a groundswell begins. Submitted by Søren Storm Hansen (Category 2)
Burger King exec trash talks using daughter’s email
Not sure why he didn’t just create a new email address, that would have been a lot safer. Submitted by Hilker. (Category 3)
Johnson and Johnson to bloggers: Hurry up and get dis-invited
Sounds like a mis-coordination, bad timing, and not a well thought through process that ended up getting scobleized, and Maryamized. (Category 2)
Anonymous Unmasks Church of Scientology
The church of Scientology has been criticised by an anonymous group, a faceless mass that has created videos, staged marches and protests, and is subvert the Church from around the internet. (Category 2)
Marvel nearly cuts of bloggers from Iron Man screening
Techcrunch (700,000 + subscribed) who intended to host a screening for loyal tech readers (perhaps a perfect audience of tech bloggers) were cut off by Marvel. Techcrunch is known for copy and pasting legal notes right onto the blog, fortunatly, things were quickly resolved. (Category 2)
Target-ed by Bloggers
A blogger complained about an indecent ad that portrayed as demeaning to women, complained and was shoved off by a Target representative. Story now on NYTimes, little things, can be big.
Target’s Rounders program “This is our secret game”
Target encouraged it’s premier members in the rounders program to pump up it’s brand in a Facebook group, sadly, the covert operation ended up on blogs and then mainstream media
HD DVD Decoded by Digg, unDugg, then Dugg again
Digg users publish HD code, industry freaks out, Digg maintains stance.
Delta holds customers hostage
What’s worse than being held prisoner on Delta’s dirty plane? (Video), watching the crew getting off da plane. Oh, and no food, crying babies, but one talented videographer. (Category 3)
Taco Bell’s infestation crawls into YouTube
A minor rat problem moved it’s way to YouTube, spreading faster and farther than expected, a total of more than one million views for all videos. Submitted by Graham Hill (Category 3)
Facebook Party with Molson ends up with Hangover
Molson invited folks to share party pics in Facebook, including with youth, which resulted in a backlash from community and parents. Molson withdrew the campaign and went home early –no more Facebook partying for this brand.
Data storage blogger posts industry price lists, sales reps cry f#ck!
Robin Harris, one of the most well known of the data storage blogosphere posts price lists that were received from various customers.
The naked NOKA chocolate uncovered
A premium chocolatier (Noka) had a tremendous markup ($309- $2,080 per pound) of their secretly re-packaged chocolate, was exposed as a fraud and spread on blogs. And their google results is really painful. Submitted by Whitney.
AOL gets canceled –how to get get on our nerves
This guy really bothers me, I can see why Vincent Ferrari was miffed. It’s clear, he was dealing with the customer retention department. Nothing worse than the feeling of being held hostage. Submitted by David Alston.
aeroplane fiasco’s spread online: JetBlue
There are so many examples, such as a YouTube testimonial about JetBlue’s 8+ hours stranded in terminal. Related: JetBlue’s CEO responds after flights are cut months later due to storm.
Starbucks Brandjacked by YouTube Video
Who wants a tasty frappuccino when there are kids starving? This was one of the first cases of brandjacking we saw.
Apple’s dirty little secret plastered over NYC
Apparently, 18 months is all the iPod will run before you’ll need to buy a new one, says this video, where street teams went around defacing ads. Submitted by David Churbuck (I got his name right this time)
(This was originally posted on Web Strategy)
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