The furore around Saatchi & Saatchi’s campaign for Toyota’s 5 agency pitch has been picked up by international trade publications and in 48 hours it has done a lot of damage. Not just to Toyota’s brand, but to the social media brand.
In a previous post I rambled on about how “as we struggle to present social media as a viable and relevant marketing channel, our collective voice can falter if we don’t consistently present a reasonable and justified case.” Gavin Heaton went on to discuss this in “Social Media Experts Run Over By The Cluetrain“, saying businesses will decide whether or not to get behind social media based on reason. Saatchi & Saatchi’s decision to choose a $60,000 production laden with creepy innuendo as a winner of a UGC competition and the reactionary widespread outcry has given cautious businesses another reason to steer clear of social media.
It will be extremely disappointing, albeit understandable, if Toyota decide not to pursue social media with any of the agencies involved in the creative pitch. So what can we do to minimise this impact on our industry?
UPDATED: Promising words from Toyota’s Mike Breen “We are aware of the calculated risks and we have to manage them. We have to learn for the future. This absolutely won’t de-rail the (social media) pitch. We’ll live and we’ll learn.” (quote from B&T)