Can a Campaign be too successful?

As Colgate found out during the first day of the recent #brushswap campaign yes it can be.  Most people think a campaign cannot be too successful, the more successful it is the more popular it is right? Wrong. Yes at first it is amazing, the popularity, the influx of custom, but what if you, the company, cannot handle the amount of orders your new found fame is bringing you? What if you haven’t enough supplies or time or space? You are left with customers that were originally keen, eager, and wanting, that are now disgruntled and losing faith in your brand.
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I have seen a few examples of this. The most recent being the Colgate #brushswap campaign which encouraged people to bring their electric toothbrushes to Waterloo station to be recycled and replaced with a brand new Colgate ProClinical A1500 toothbrush. This campaign only lasted 2 hours on launch morning due to the sheer number of people coming to swap their brushes.

According to reports, the brand was inundated with consumers who started queuing at 5am to ensure they grabbed a new toothbrush. The dental hygiene company were overwhelmed with the response which forced them to close, leaving customers severely annoyed.

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They have now announced that they have cancelled the programme and have struggled to find a solution to appease disappointed customers. This event has led to a barrage of tweets against the company and a lot of customers feeling let down. This might all sound like doom and gloom but there is one benefiting party. Colgates competitor Phillips’s Sonicare have piggy backed on their misfortune with a press ad appearing in the paper stating ‘The best things in life aren’t free’. This quick firing retaliation has forced Colgate into action.

In order to rectify their disastrous campaign Colgate has now extended their promotion online. They are now offering 7,000 electric toothbrushes nationwide to those that apply. They claim that the stall was closed by National Rail for health and safety reasons due to overcrowding.

Will this extension fix their ‘overcrowding’ or will it just move it from one place to another? And will they be able to rectify the consequences of their misjudgement. All I know is Phillips are loving their chance to grab the lime light, and why not!

Check out some other articles surrounding the Colgate #brushswap campaign.

http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/article/1190233/colgate-forced-scrap-brushswap-promotion-waterloo-debacle

http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/news/philips-takes-advantage-of-backfired-colgate-promo/4007309.article

http://www.thedrum.com/news/2013/07/11/colgate-extends-brushswap-offer-after-waterloo-station-promotion-disaster

http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/article/1190317/colgate-takes-brushswap-campaign-online-bid-regain-credibility

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