This is a a story of Social Media gone terribly wrong... Or is it? Tuesday I was researching Starbucks' most recent campaign launch when I ran across, Filmmaker, Robert Greenwald's documentary about the union busting practices at Starbucks. This find was not a mistake. Greenwald and his company Brave New Films planned it that way.
The same day that Starbucks launched it's' multi-million dollar scavenger hunt-like ad campaign in order to “harness the power of online social networking sites...”, Greenwald & company launched a blog post at an anti-Starbucks website Brave New Films created. The post encouraged people to take pictures of themselves in front of Starbucks stores holding signs targeted at the company’s “anti-labor practices.”
Like the Starbucks campaign, users are then told to upload these photos onto Twitpic and tweet them out to their followers using the hashtags #top3percent and #starbucks. According to the post, these are the official hashtags that were designated by the Starbucks.
Within hours, several people had followed these guidelines and there were dozens of Twitpics in front of stores across the country.
As of this post, the anti-Starbucks YouTube video has amassed over 49,000 views and was featured on the front page of Digg.
In an bad economy - where the consumer perception is that big corporations have forgotten about real people - does this seem like poor planning on the part of Starbucks?
What I think is unmistakable is that, transparency is king and customers really do manage the air waves.