YouTube: The good, the bad and the ugly. Or, the power of social media.

20 04 2009

Last week was an interesting week in the internet world.  It was definitely a combination of the good, the bad and the ugly on how the power of social media can affect a brand, push a cause or create an insta-celebrity.

Let’s talk about the goodSusan Boyle.  Recognize the name?  She was the 40ish year old woman who took a risk on “Britain’s Got Talent”.  As she stepped on to the stage and into the spotlight you could see the looks of disdain on the judges’ and audience’s faces, i.e. Simon Cowell.  She then stated she had “never been kissed, lives with her cat .  The audience and judges were incredulous.  As soon as she started to sing, she blew them all away.  By the end of her rendition of “I Dreamed A Dream” the entire audience and judges were standing on their feet.  In 48 hours, she was on YouTube with more than 3,000,000 views, had spoken to most of the mainstream US and British press and now has the top odds in winning “Britain’s Got Talent”.  She rocketed to insta-stardom through the internet in less than 48 hours after posting of her video.  Rumor has it that she has a recording contract with Simon Cowell’s company (acerbic judge on American Idol and Britain’s Got Talent) regardless of how she fares on the talent show.  Wall Street Journal encapsulates why we are so enamored with her story here:  The Susan Boyle Bubble – Digits – WSJ

The BadDominos.  A video posted to the horror of all germaphobes who have always guessed what goes on in the back of the restaurant with food, but had no evidence.  These two employees posted ‘the nasty things you can do with your customer’s food video on YouTube for their friend’s entertainment.  It went viral and over a million people in less than 48 hours had seen it.  According to the two employees who videotaped themselves, it was a prank.  What wasn’t a prank was their firing from Dominos, the fast response of the food and health inspector and the charges that were filed against these two idiots.  Google them, you can see their mug shots online.  Dominos responded back to the gross out video with a response from their President, Patrick Doyle.  Unfortunately, it received less than 300,000 views on YouTube.  Dominos also quickly filed a civil lawsuit against these two yahoos for “lost sales”.   Can you even quantify the amount of brand damage these two ex-employees created?  High marks for Dominos for their fast response to the “brand emergency”.  For a quick timeline on Domino’s response to the PR nightmare see:   Domino’s nightmare holds lessons for marketers – USATODAY.com

The UglyCNN and Ashton Kutcher Twitter wars.  From ugly to eventually good, the race was on for 1 million twitter followers.  Kutcher promised to donate 10,000 mosquito bed nets to charity for World Malaria Day in late April if he bested CNN, and 1,000 if he lost. The cable news network agreed to do the same.  Then Larry King posted his own video response, as noted by this CNN article on Ashton Kutcher.  In the following news storm, it’s been written that Ashton Kutcher was the first to leverage Twitter and social media as a whole for the benefits of social change.  Do you agree?   

What still remains ugly, Oprah started her twitter account… Now that Oprah is twittering, is this death for Twitter?

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