And somewhere in Chicago somebody’s drunk ca-chinging six figures for this shit show of a campaign.
This isn’t good marketing. It’s a malicious, short-sighted, irresponsible, uninspired, and most of all lazy growth hack. It’s what happens when advertising commits to engagement rather than loyalty.
“But it works!” – No, it fucking does not. If you think it does just because it generates impressions, you’re part of a much bigger problem.
That problem starts with a lingo that refers to humans as ‘consumers’ which is used to cement an excuse for idiot growth hackers to stay conveniently ignorant of the fact that human trust is a finite resource. And by finite I mean: as a whole, not for that one brand.
I wonder what Leo Burnett himself would have to say about all this…
Oh wait, he actually gave a speech about it! It’s titled ‘When to Take My Name off the Door’. You can watch it here, or read it here. I’ll quote:
“When you begin to compromise your integrity – which has always been the heart’s blood – the very guts of this agency.”
“When you stoop to convenient expediency and rationalize yourselves into acts of opportunism – for the sake of a fast buck.”
“When you show the slightest sign of crudeness, inappropriateness or smart-aleckness – and you lose that subtle sense of the fitness of things.”
“When your main interest becomes a matter of size just to be big – rather than good, hard, wonderful work.”
[…] “THAT, boys and girls, is when I shall insist you take my name off the door. And by golly, it will be taken off the door. Even if I have to materialize long enough some night to rub it out myself – on every one of your floors.”
“And before I de-materialize again, I will paint out that star-reaching symbol, too. And burn all the stationery. And tear up a few ads in passing. […] You just won’t know the place, the next morning. You’ll have to find another name.”
Now, here’s Leo’s ‘boys and girls’ in 2019, on behalf of their client, The North Face:
“We hacked the results to reach one of the most difficult places: the top of the world’s largest search engine. Paying absolutely nothing just by collaborating [sic!] with Wikipedia. Simple as that.”
I suggest it’s time to go back to the white board then, Leo, and find a new name. Simple as that.