Monthly Archives: October 2013

TOMS Gets Shady

TOMS Gets Shady

TOMS is famous for their do good approach to business. With every pair of TOMS shoes purchased, TOMS donates a pair of shoes to a child in need across the globe. The company has given out over 10 million pairs of shoes since 2006. But TOMS hasn’t stopped there..

On October 10th, TOMS launched a campaign for World Sight Day. They produced a limited pair of TOMS branded sunglasses, and for each pair purchased, TOMS would provide eye-care to a person in need. This could be through providing prescription glasses, medical treatment and even sight-saving surgery! TOMS challenged people to show their support and raise awareness for the visually impaired by “Being Shady”. People were encouraged to wear their shades in an unusual setting (e.g. in the mall, at the gym) and then share their photo via social media using the hashtag #BeShady.

I love the TOMS brand and their business model. I think they effectively use unique guerrilla marketing techniques, such as this campaign, and the “A Day Without Shoes” campaign to engage consumers. However, many people criticize that its “raising awareness” campaigns are merely just marketing ploys to raise the awareness of TOMS, and the “Buy one Get one” model actually fails to give people what they really need.

Have you ever purchased a pair of TOMS shoes? Was the “Buy One Get One” model one of the deciding factors of your purchase?

Would you participate in the #BeShady campaign on social media?


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Durex Condom Emergency

Another campaign gone wrong: Durex SOS Condoms.

In a recent attempt to increase Durex’s social media presence, the company launched an app on the App store. The app asked Facebook users which city they believe should get Durex SOS Condoms, a rush service which delivers condoms to those in need. Durex even promises to deliver it in a “discrete” and professional way.

The campaign went faulty when Durex failed to give the voters a predetermined list of cities to choose from. Instead, they let voters choose themselves, causing the leading “city” with the most votes to be “Batman.”

Although some people found the prank funny, others were upset. Durex accepted the fact that the campaign had been hijacked, and decided that the best decision was to close it down and move on.

In my opinion, Durex could have easily avoided this issue. They should have expected that launching a campaign with user generated content requires strong monitoring. They could have continued with the campaign, choosing the next best response that was a legit city. Better yet, a predetermined list of cities that the users could select from would have avoided this issue completely.

Do you think Durex handled the situation well? Was shutting down the campaign the best strategic decision?
Do you think the app would have been a success? Or do you think Durex was promising too much?


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