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05/11/2008 by

Vattenfall Climate Signature: Buzz In Brussels

Vattenfall has launched a climate initiative, inviting individuals to sign the climate manifesto to make their voices heard as support for political decisions necessary to combat climate change. 2 Weeks ago I walked through Brussels and saw these 75.000 orange puppets…

The climate signature initiative invites everyone to sign the manifesto and to make their voices heard. The initiative started in Brussels, where I witnessed this cool buzz worthy campaign.

I really like the Vattenfall campaign site: simple and clean design and it clear and pleasant usability. The buzz tour will also go to Berlin and other cities near you.

I took some other shots in Brussels with a pocket camera. You should have seen the faces of the people passing by. Some (me too!) people sneaked past the guarding officers to grab a orange puppet. I needed proof?!

In Brussels over 75.000 people had signed the manifesto. I looked at the website and the number of signatures has passed 90.000.

The only thing I did not like at the campaign site, were the poor social media aspects. To offer bloggers and social influentials to embed a banner to their blog or social site?!? Come on Vattenfall, that must have been the advice of your traditional PR agency?

Why not offer a buzz toolkit with the summarized background info, photos, visuals, video, logo and more? That’s would have saved bloggers and social influentials and hour or more search work. And could have increased your reach and buzz! That again would have impacted the organic search results in search engines again positively.

Think integrated and smart: would you have considered to send an incomplete press release to printed media? But for the buzz campaign and it’s site design: two thumbs up! Also for the good cause…

I know an unethical blogger in Germany had said that using a buzz toolkit was inappropriate and he even called it spam. That was hilarious since he was not mentioning he is also the founder of a so called seeding agency in Germany that does not work compliant to the WOMMA Code of Ethics. Being open about what you do, and whom you are doing it for, is part part of the WOMMA code.

Would brands and agencies in Germany know that brands could be punished and fined for spam, if their so called seeding agency is acting like enthusiastic consumers? Would brands and agencies know that cheating and lying about seeding can really damage their brand equity?

We have seen comboys’ spamming through fax. Later spam per e-mail. Then spimming in MSN Messenger. And spamming with sms to mobile phones. Then we had the cloacking and linkfarming “boys” trying to deceive Google.

When Google gave a penalty to BMW in Germany, the power brand was kicked out of Google. Problem was: BMW relied on a spamming SEM agency, that had not told their dirty tricks to BMW. What’s next? Spam towards blogs and acting like consumers in social networks?

We advise any brand and agency to ask to their digital agency: can you show us if you are a member of IAB, WOMMA or other relevant trade body. Can you guarantee us, you will never spam?

So to all brand managers or marketers: you have invested many years in your brand equity. Don’t let gold seeking spam cowboys damage your brand! Draft a contract that states the agency will work anti-spam and compliant to code of ethics. And make your agency sign: if you do damage our brand with spamming activities, you will be hold accountable for all damage done.

If the agency is not willing to sign, you know you are about to tap into a “wrong bet”. If you are tapping into social media marketing, double check if the agency is a WOMMA member. But it’s your own decision and it’s about your brand.


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Igor Beuker
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