Chrysler's attempt to buy off "mommy bloggers" — and their countless dozens of readers — with an iPad2 (hey, it's no iPad HD, but still, not too shabby) and the promise of a trip to NYC in exchange for attention has backfired in a way only a Chrysler social media campaign could. Now some mommies are sad and other mommies, apparently, are "skanks." Postola, like payola, apparently requires the kind of tact Chrysler and Ignite Social Media, its latest horrible choice in agencies, just aren't capable of.
The Chrysler contest is called the "Blogger Faceoff" and it pitted five (now four) popular "mommy bloggers" against one another in a vote-getting scheme disguised as a discussion of road trips. A "mommy blogger" is, if you're not aware, typically a mother with an Internet connection and no shame.
They also did this with car bloggers, but they're experienced enough with this postola scheme to keep their mouths shut… when not begging us for votes.
Each mom was tasked with writing a post for Chrysler answering the question: "How to keep kids occupied while traveling." These would get posted on Chrysler's blog and then, in theory, get other mommies to read it by linking like mad. Brilliant insights like this resulted:
I don't think long road trips are for everyone. I mean come on; days on end stuck in a car, driving for endless hours with two kids can be anything but enjoyable. It can be enjoyable though, well as enjoyable and possible for small children.
But can it be enjoyable?
All the moms in the contest were promised a trip to NYC for their family plus an iPad2 to give to their loyal readers/voter drones for voting for each post once a day.
To handle this not-so-complex task, Chrysler hired Ignite Social Media — a company that was created by the "Brogan & Partners" agency in Birmingham, MI.
Founded by Marcie Brogan, the agency was the zit on the ass of Michigan travel advertising for a number of years. So an old-school ad agency that existed thanks to political graft trying to rebrand themselves with a new social media arm.
As you'd expect, it's failing miserably.
Because Chrysler was unclear about the voting procedures, some of the mommy bloggers encouraged their readers to vote from multiple computers. A move seemingly endorsed by Chrysler in their original official rules. Accusations of vote-rigging starting flying, someone apparently called one of the mommy bloggers "a skank" in the comments of one of the posts and blogger Kristine Cook was disqualified.
The actual back-and-forth of this is too nauseatingly stupid to get into, but popular non-mommy blogger Adam Avitable does a thorough job of laying out what happened.
Chrysler/Ignite's original stab at this appears hilariously ham-fisted and their response makes a contest already premised upon a click-for-attention-for-an-iPad-for-a-trip that makes any reasonable person shake their head in disgust.
Maybe Chrysler should just stick to the big picture stuff and let Clint Eastwood write all their ads — social media, or otherwise.
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