This is a brilliant example of the power of Internet tools, creativity and our willingness to act swiftly and decisively when we are committed to something. Vegemite
Who would have thought that tampering (which is how the crowd saw it) with a "low involvement' product such as a salty yeast extract spread could provoke such outrage. Clearly not Kraft, or not initially anyway. The volume of blogs, the venting of spleens and the sheer energy poured into the protest as it spilled out to every corner of the internet should confirm one thing: social media has the power to make or break a brand or product like no other medium. By yesterday morning a Hitler parody video clip had been viewed 46,000 times, making it the No. 1 comedy clip on YouTube this week, according to analysis by the online risk and reputation consultants SR7, which also logged more than 60 Facebook groups that had been formed expressly for the purpose of getting Kraft to dump the name. One such group, "Australia says no to iSnack 2.0" had more than 2500 members by yesterday morning.
The SR7 director James Griffin goes as far as to label this a "watershed" in marketing. "Regardless of whether or not this is a marketing ploy by Kraft, this is an example of social media determining the outcome of a marketing campaign."
Within five days of announcing a new name, Kraft had done a corporate about-face the likes of which we have not seen in a while...
Kraft is now faced with a very pumped up and aggravated bunch of Aussies who have already brought it to heel and will be watching the company's next move. Any hints that the entire exercise was a conspiracy could sink the new product and damage the Vegemite brand itself.
On the other hand, we are surrounded by pollution, dangerous ignorance, corruption, financial criminality, abuse, exploitation, slavery, intergenerational theft and a panoply of human-created catastrophes and failures that need exactly this level of attention and our response is what?
Re-naming the friggin vegemite.
Some days I despair.