Social Network With You? But I Don't Know You

Why advertisers shouldn't try to be your Friend

What were the shittiest social networking campaigns in recent memory? That's what the panel and audience at the The Suxorz were trying to work out.

2007 was a fabulous year for suckage: the "big ad" (which ClickZ Network's Rebecca Lieb called a great little movie, but a terrible ad, because no-one remembers what the product is. Carlsberg? Carlton? Carleson? Molson?); and's horrible effort to get Subway's ad contract with a terrible, terrible, TERRIBLE attempt to bid a viral push for their business-to-business negotiations.

Everyone seemed to hate the idea of selling out blogging and other real networking sites for corporate. There was the horror of pay-per-post, where bloggers schill for corporations and sell out their souls in the name of spammage (Hewlett Packard won for doing this); Molson's desperate attempt to piggy-back off Facebook; the particular horror of the WalMarting across America blog; Whole Food's John Mackey posting on competitor's blogs and talk-back boards; and Cisco making their own Wikipedia entry about their "Human Network" brand (as Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine noted, the Wikipedia community corrected this "weeping sore.") Special props for Rudy Giuliani for not allowing friends on his MySpace page. Genius.

But wait: if this is a bunch of strangers sitting around and bonding over failed social networking strategies, isn't this panel social networking? Gah! Snake eating its own tail! Gah!

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

South by Southwest Is Headed to London
South by Southwest Is Headed to London
Culture fest adds third venue as global expansion continues

Richard Whittaker, May 8, 2024

Court of Appeals Sides With SXSW in Insurance Lawsuit
Court of Appeals Sides With SXSW in Insurance Lawsuit
Reverses previous decision in insurance company's favor

Carys Anderson, March 26, 2024

More by Richard Whittaker
Review: <i>Disney’s Frozen</i>
Review: Disney’s Frozen
Broadway in Austin brings all Arendelle’s magic to the Bass

June 15, 2024

Memorial Announced for Film Giant Tom Copeland
Memorial Announced for Film Giant Tom Copeland
Former Texas Film Commission head oversaw massive growth in industry

June 13, 2024


Advertising, Facebook, SXSW, Target Rounders

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle