Last week I was reading a post from a good friend Jeff Pearlman. He shared an article written on the Washington Post. It was a powerful piece on the families of the Sandy Hook shooting victims. I noticed the post on my iPhone and proceeded to read.
The article had somber tone. The title was
You could feel the heartache and serious tone of the article. However midway through reading I was interrupted by a “fake” IM message from Walmart stating
“Look Who’s in Walmart Now.”
I was confused and a bit taken aback. OK, I was on my mobile devise, reading an article posted on Facebook. Was this a real IM? No way. This is the reason why real content in a mobile social world is king. There was no context for this message. In fact, it made my face scrunch up in disbelieve and then made my heart pound in rage when I saw the rest of the ad – which was a continued mock IM conversation which proceed to tell me a joke.
A JOKE!! While reading an article about the families of Newtown’s shooting victims.!!! The joke stated
“So, a fireman, a teacher and a carpenter walk into a Walmart…
“wait are you telling a joke…”
“No, saw all at Walmart today”
“No surprise, over 60% of US shops there every day”
Ending in a crescendo as if so say – “see what we did there, clever eh?” Stating
That’s the REAL WALMART.
Well, yes, I guess that is the REAL WALMART. Utterly tone deaf. I could almost hear the advertising executives high five after seeing all my clicks on their ad as I frantically tried to close out the fake im’s to read the article. They must have been thrilled by all of the “engagement.”
For me: this is a huge fail, and just a small example of a bigger problem. You cannot automate genuine social media, and you certainly can’t automate engagement.
It will never, ever work.
Social media is the ultimate bullshit meter, and I’m calling bullshit on Walmart.