Nando's is a master at opportunistic advertising. It has frequently managed to take advantage of the buzz in the market and turn the conversation to be about itself. The late 2010 campaign poking fun at Cell C was excellent, as was Cell C's way of dealing with it - giving Nando's execs speed sticks to try out. The social element was opportunist and worked a treat.
The closing frame, of which I have taken a screenshot, has in tiny writing a website address: www.howfarwillyougo.co.za - if you happened to see the address and wondered what was there, you would have found a lovely website asking you to answer that question for the chance of winning a prize.
It must be the easiest R20 000 worth of prize out there; you have very little competition.
Classic hallmarks of a bolt-on
This campaign shows the classic hallmarks of a bolt-on. I can just imagine the conversation. "That little viral thing we did with the Cell C campaign really worked well; let's put some budget aside. Hey, you digital guys - this is our idea, go make it work - we will give you a url at the end of the ad."
Really, I ask you, what was the digital team supposed to do (and in Nando's case, it has a smart social team)?
You don't use social media as if it were just another channel. It just doesn't work like that. It's not just another direct marketing database; it's not a bolt-on to a TVC.
The two key effects of the Internet are that it has allowed the creation of huge networks and it has changed media from being a source of information to being a site of coordination. A place where people talk about things and share things. They share social objects. People in social networks are not just connected to people; they are connected to people around social objects.
Part of the new marketing process
In a general sense, a social object could be the weather, the long-legged girl walking into the pub or Manchester United; in a brand sense, it may be bits of content such as the Nando's CEO video or experiences etc. Part of the new marketing process is the development of social objects which are shareable.
One of the reasons that brands find this so difficult is that social media looks like traditional media but it's not. It's a case of what tastes like chicken, looks like chicken and feels like chicken may, in fact, not be chicken at all.
Well, at least Nando's didn't fall into the trap of that totally brainless idea of giving away an iPad to get followers (if it did, I haven't noticed).
Nando's is a smart organisation and I am sure that it will soon learn that you can't add this stuff on. The lesson here is that campaign thinking is the enemy of good social strategy; campaigns will form a part of it but the core of social will be around shareable social objects and the networks of people gathered around those objects.
Walter Pike (@walterpike), the founder of PiKE | New Marketing (www.pike.co.za), consults to agencies and brands in learning how to build brands and businesses in the connected world. He founded and runs the Digital Academy (www.digitalacademy.co.za) to equip people to be successful in this world.
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