Thursday, June 25, 2009

Yo Yoplait- Whats Up With This?

Dear Community,

On Tuesday I attended the BlogWell conference in San Francisco. In four hours, we ran through 8 case studies of big companies who use social media and, for the most part, are happy with it. That's a pretty reductive summary, but one of the takeaways is "people have short attention spans", so Im putting that into practice here.

The first session I went to was run by one of the marketing guys from General Mills who works on Yoplait Kids. As you may have guessed from the conference title, his job is to work with bloggers to generate buzz about his brand. More specifically, he conatcts "Mommy Bloggers" with information about Yoplait Kids, coupons, samples, prize packs, etc and then, the hope is, they will tip tap type away about how much Yoplaits' 60% reduction in sugar has saved their sanity. Or something like that.

A few things. I am all for giving voice to the customer- especially when this voice is handed to moms (who, in my opion, have historically got the short end of the marketing stick). But, as a blog reader, I really question the effectiveness of these endorsements. It seems too trasparent to me. Do you really love Yoplait kids, or do you love the fact that a Fortune 500 company is paying attention to your blog?

I ran into this a few months ago with one of my favorite blogs Coconut & Lime. The blog is beautiful- beautiful picture, great recipes, really good voice. Everything I have made from her site has been a smashing sucess. But then she had to go and start Food Maven. The point of this blog is to "shre food related thoughts, tips, and product finds"- light on the thoughts, heavy in the product finds. The blog is basically, buy this, try this, this is delicious, I love brand x, I love brand y. And yes, she even posts on Yoplait.

I unsusbscribed. I want engagement. I want to know how users are using these products. I want the back story on why they started trying them and, maybe even (gasp), what they didn't like. So, if you like Yoplait yogurt, I want to know the cool fruit salda recipe you made up using it. I want a picture of your kid throwing the yogurt all over your kicthen. I want more. More than just "this is so delicious. I couldn't stop eating it." Oh really? Because I'm pretty sure you could.

And this is what the conference missed for me. I think marketers are at the point where they know how to get on to blogs, but we are becoming savvier consumers. Any endorsement won't do. It has to be personal, and it has to feel personal. And I think the great thing about this kind of personalization is that it is hard to fake. If you really love something we will know, and we will buy it. Anything short of that won't work. At least not on me.

Happy Thursday,

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