Before the digital revolution and explosion of social media, brands could pretty much control their own marketing messages and if anything went wrong they had the power of their PR teams to crisis manage their way out of it. Today - thanks to the Internet - brands are completely exposed and at the mercy of the public. There is absolutely no place to hide. Today, brands have to be transparent, open to ideas and they have to listen to what their customers want.
So what if things go wrong? How can brands cope with scathing feedback or complaints that are thrown out there on social networks like Twitter and Facebook? How can a brand protect its reputation, keep its customers happy and be perceived as something people still want to associate with?
A recent good example lies with female hygiene company Bodyform. When it received a scathing comment on its Facebook page which went viral, it had only one option - to fight fire with fire. It beautifully understood it was at the mercy of its customers and therefore rose to the challenge, producing a funny video response that has so far had over 135,000 views on YouTube.
The original comment, to which the advert is a response, came from the brand's Facebook page and is reproduced below. It received over 84,000 likes, a figure that clearly needed some sort of response.
"Hi, as a man I must ask why you have lied to us for all these years. As a child I watched your advertisements with interest as to how at this wonderful time of the month that the female gets to enjoy so many things, I felt a little jealous. I mean bike riding, rollercoasters, dancing, parachuting, why couldn't I get to enjoy this time of joy and 'blue water' and wings!! Dam my penis! Then I got a girlfriend, was so happy and couldn't wait for the joyous adventurous time of the month to happen.... you lied!! There was no joy, no extreme sports, no blue water spilling over wings and no rocking soundtrack oh no no no. Instead I had to fight against every male urge I had to resist screaming wooaaahhhhh bodddyyyyyyfooorrmmm bodyformed for youuuuuu as my lady to the little girl from the exorcist with added venom and extra 360 degree head spin. Thanks for setting me up for a fall bodyform, you crafty bugger..."
The beauty of the responding video is that it's funny. Its tongue-in-cheek humour makes us laugh out loud while showing us the 'human' side of the brand. It's a direct response to a comment that might've damaged the brand's reputation, but instead only improved it.
You can view the video on YouTube.com.