Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Gatorade Mission Control: We have a problem?

A flurry of emails, blog posts and tweets from my colleagues and friends hit my inbox yesterday discussing the Gatorade YouTube video showing off its social media command centre.

"OMG," they said. "Gatorade is a brand that just GETS IT. That's so cool!!!!1"

Erm, I disagree.

Firstly, the video shows PepsiCo marketing execs poring over a giant bank of screens, tracking what people are saying about Gatorade in real time. They might as well have showed the actual locations of these people too - perhaps as little flashing dots - just in case customers weren't feeling paranoid enough. (Warning! Jon in Covent Garden didn't finish his G2 Lo-Cal Fruit Punch! Activate rapid response team!)

Secondly, strapping big TVs to a wall in a separate room and getting IBM and Radian 6 to custom build analytics software isn't big or clever. It's expensive, showy and a waste of money. Social media monitoring should be done by real people as part of their everyday job using accessible tools that don't need specliast training or a retina scan. Google didn't build me a special blogging platform, and I don't have a blogging room. Unless you mean the toilet (in both cases).

Thirdly, it's scaring the crap out of everyone who hasn't properly kicked off their social media strategy yet. For all you nervous businesses out there, don't worry. It's possible to do great thinks with social media marketing without having to rebuild the set of Apollo 13, fill it with trendy people on MacBooks and daub it with giant bolts of lightning.

BONUS WHINGE: Who was this video made for, anyway? It certainly wasn't consumers. Unless consumers have suddenly started getting excited by phrases such as 'Track analytics of websites' and 'Proactive social media outreach'.

Were you thinking the same thing or did I miss something?

I do kinda feel thirsty now, though...