Customer interaction is the key behind two new marketing campaigns that hit the web this past week, Hyundai “Uncensored” and Halo’s Robotic Arm. Let’s take a closer look and see if we can get inspired for a campaign of our own.
Hyundai’s “Uncensored” campaign has gained the interest of both consumers and the media. The idea behind it was to gather unsolicited and uncensored testimonials by putting hidden cameras in cars. The commercials have been airing on TV and YouTube for the past month and now Hyundai is using Facebook to drive their point home. They used their Facebook page to pick 50 participants for a one-month test drive. The drivers were asked to post their thoughts regularly on their Facebook page. They were also given cameras so they could record and upload videos. The assumption here is that most people will post kind thoughts even if it’s not the full truth. But anytime you ask people for an opinion, you’re bound to get complainers and Hyundai has several on their “Uncensored” Facebook page. One woman talks about a class action suit due to a gas problem and another wails on Hyundai’s customer service.
Is this a case of “no publicity is bad publicity?” By opening their virtual doors to both positive and negative comments, does that make Hyundai a more trustworthy brand? So far, it looks like it’s working for them.
Another interesting marketing ploy to pop up this week is Halo’s robotic arm. The story behind it is that the makers of Halo have a Kuka KR 140, robotic arm hidden in a warehouse in San Francisco. When fans of the game sign on at RememberReach.com, they can activate the robot which illuminates a point of light in honor of a fallen comrade. More than 50,000 points will be needed to create the completed work of art which will resemble the team in action.
CNET, Wired and a dozen other gamer and geek sites wrote about this marketing effort and if I’m reading the Halo page right, lots of people have already participated. I logged in (using Facebook connect) to give it a shot and found it totally underwhelming. I picked a spot on the screen, it lit up for a second then I got a message saying I’d be notified when my spot was permanently lit. If I imagine that I really made a robot arm in San Francisco move when I clicked the screen, then it is pretty cool. But it’s kind of like that episode of “The Big Bang Theory” where they turn down their stereo by sending a signal around the world through the internet. The theory is pretty neat, but the reality. . .not so much.
Have you checked out the Halo robotic arm? Creative idea or a just a lot of marketing hype? Or the better question is, does it matter as long as people are talking about it?