if you tweet nothing else today, tweet this: #MBteamS

We don't often officially endorse contest entrants, politicians or causes, but today is different. Today is the day that Humongo BFF Todd Sanders and his Mercedes Benz Team S start their Twitter race to the Superbowl.

All he needs to do to win? Collect the most tweets with the hashtag #MBteamS between now and February 4. That's pretty simple. If you and 4 of your friends tweet it about six hundred times each day, you'll probably help him win. And his wife will get a sweet car, a charity will get some big $$$, and Mercedes gets a bunch of social media promotion. Everyone wins.

Here's all you need to do, to help Todd win: Tweet absolutely anything you want, and give it the hashtag #MBteamS. Of course it's better if you can link to the race, chat about it's awesomeness, and other appropriate twitter chatter, but more than anything, he needs your hashtag support.

Tweet now, tweet often.

(Todd: We are fully expecting a ride around the block in that car, in exchange for this win producing post.)


Ben Kunz said...

I like Todd.

But I suggest you bookmark this campaign and refer to it 10 years from now as evidence that marketers in 2011 had no clue about how to be meaningful in social media. Spraying human networks with sponsored hashtags? It's a bit like slipping flyers under windshield wipers. Mercedes, thanks.

darryl ohrt said...

"Spraying human networks"

Is it really that different than spraying television networks with a :30 spot?

I think that Mercedes is accomplishing a couple of things with this campaign:

+ They're putting their brand in front of a younger audience. @tsand and the other teams don't appear to be the stereotypical Mercedes drivers. They're tweeting photos, videos, and other content, associating themselves with the vehicles and the brand. That's content that's making impressions and will live indefinitely.

+ They're spraying human networks. As a Twitter user, I'm annoyed by many brands that do this. But I'm equally annoyed by the media buyers who place the same spot over and over and over on broadcast tv. Sure, at some point media saturation feels like pollution to the user/viewer - but that's often the price of free media and tools.

And so Mercedes is getting the brand in front of a new audience, at the cost of some media/content pollution. But at least in this case, they're up front about it. That's better than brands who are paying influencers to tweet about their brands without the consumer's knowledge, IMO.

I saw people that were previously unaware of the campaign reacting to the contest, in my own tweetstream.

So Mercedes successfully placed content in front of a new audience.
Win, right?

Ben Kunz said...

I can appreciate your enthusiasm. I guess my point is do we really want #zappos brands to be inserted #pepsi randomly into actual human-to-human #bananarepublic communications, or does this create a dissonance #coke about the value of our #apple thoughts? And are minds #staples really places for media #mercedes placement equivalent to #dell :30 second TV spots?

My view is human minds should not be ad inventory, but I could be #mediassociates wrong.

You raise an excellent point about traditional media placement reaching oversaturation levels, and I agree. The typical U.S. TV show now has 18 minutes of spots per hour vs. 9 minutes in the 1960s. Clear Channel actually retrenched on radio with a "less is more" campaign to cut the number of radio interruptions. In any communication network, if we reach too far, the users rebel against the pollution.

However, I believe paid *media* placement is better, because it is clearly marked advertising and users can judge the source. Paid placement in tweets or thoughts is more nefarious, because frankly I'm not sure whether someone is talking about Mercedes because they really believe it has value, or if they're just trying to win a free car. The confusion about the source makes it difficult to judge the value of the message.

Thanks for the #humongo debate ;)

burke said...

agree with Kunz. Its clearly a volume over quality approach which we know doesn't get the job done. and it's irrelevant if a friend did it or not. we all know someone.

my 2 cents

Garret Ohm said...

I liked the thought of this campaign when they first started to advertise it. The promotion was pretty slick, and it's a fairly novel and new way to relate social media to automotive (a race!).

Plus, as Darryl said, it was getting the brand away from its Sperry Top-Siders and Viagra core. One other thing that you guys haven't mentioned is that Mercedes is also generating money for charity with the effort, which is pretty cool.

Is is spraying human networks with sponsored hashtags? Absolutely. But in a world full of micro-interactions, you've gotta have a bit of that to move the needle, eh? Doesn't really bother me. This is the world we're going to have to adapt to.

Garret Ohm said...

I like where #SutterGroup Ben is going with #Porsche this, though.

Garret Ohm said...

Regarding quality over quantity - if an ad message falls in the woods and nobody's around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

dweingrod said...

So hear I am, as usual stuck between an Ohrt and a Kunz.

I love the idea of an event that is actually powered by tweets and didn't mind participating in it, but two things happened that ultimately led to my losing interest.

1-After a while the demand on my attention just became too much. Attention has become a commodity that consumers protect carefully and that marketers abuse at their own peril. After repeated demands that tried to build up an urgency for me to act I just gave up. (interesting, for me there is no middle ground. I either am in or I am out - how is it for you?)

2 - When I wanted to get more info on the facebook page about Team S the only way I could get in was by "liking". Sorry, you can't have my like, and the potential spam, so cheap

darryl ohrt said...

"When I wanted to get more info on the facebook page about Team S the only way I could get in was by "liking". Sorry, you can't have my like, and the potential spam, so cheap"

That's the best statement all day. Agree. Thanks, Dan!

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