You can’t blame Durex for trying to boost engagement on social media. Studies have shown for years that it’s absolutely crucial to an effective business model. The downside, of course, is that a seemingly clever social media campaign can go terribly awry because … well … this is the Internet you’re dealing with.
To wit, the condom manufacturer started a new social media campaign for an emergency condom delivery service recently, and it was going pretty well for a while. It all went to hell when Durex asked Facebook fans to vote on which city needed the service, called SOS Condoms, the most.
According to Bloomberg, Facebook users decided that the city which needs the rush delivery service most is Batman – not the DC Comics superhero, mind you – the incredibly conservative Muslim province in Turkey.
The locals, as you can image, are pissed.
“I’m Kurdish, and I know how we are, so this is impossible. Our culture is religious,” said Abdurrahman Temelli, a sustainable development consultant from a nearby city.
Social media outreach campaigns can often go terribly wrong thanks to Internet pranksters and trolls, but Durex’s foiled SOS Condoms initiative isn’t the worst example of this phenomenon. Not by a long shot.
McDonald’s suffered the nastiest backlash in recent memory when they tried to engage Twitter users with the hashtag #McDStories which was supposedly meant to create a campfire-stories atmosphere where we could share our favorite experiences involving the fast food chain’s offerings.
It didn’t work out so well.
They pulled the plug a few hours into the campaign for obvious reasons.
In any case, Durex has shut down SOS Condoms. A spokeswoman said that the company’s social media efforts will be moving “on to a new sphere.”
[Image via: Facebook]
Author: Dusten Carlson
Dusten has written for web and print and currently spends his time working on his upcoming graphic novel. He is also almost 30 and still has all of his hair.