Today, I have another mainstream and social media backlash story that could have been avoided with a little more forethought. You may have heard that Kraft Foods held a product naming contest for a more spreadable version of the Australian treat Vegemite. More than 48,000 people responded to a call to come up with the product’s name. The winning choice: iSnack 2.0.
Yep. iSnack 2.0. In their desperation to be seen as hip and cool, Kraft forgot to give this thing a name that had anything whatsoever to do with the actual product. I mean seriously! Is it a tasty snack or a new technology? And, was there even an iSnack 1.0? It simply makes no sense.
While there are certainly many many more important things to be up in arms about than a ridiculous product name, the internet is nothing if not a source for mockery and that’s exactly what Kraft got.
Since their announcement Sunday, mainstream and social media sources lambasted the name as have countless folks on Facebook and Twitter, where it was a trending topic for a time. Even a website called “Names That Are Better Than iSnack 2.0” has popped up and YouTubers quickly took to the web to mock the name. My personal favorite is a clip showing Hitler learning about the new name. (Scroll down to watch video).
So, about an hour ago – and only five days after announcing the new name, Kraft ditched the whole thing and has returned to the proverbial drawing board.
Stating that the new name had “simply not resonated with Australians. Particularly the modern technical aspects associated with it,” Kraft will once again hand over the new naming rights to the public.
Here’s hoping they are a bit more selective in their winning pick this time. Although, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they are inundated with suggestions like “eSnack” or “MobileSnack” “LOL Snack” etc. just because people love to keep a joke going.
A true example of crowd-sourcing gone wrong, Kraft denied this was a publicity stunt. Although, it is noteworthy that the brand has seen endless online coverage. Certainly, I wouldn’t have heard about this product at all had it not been for the backlash. But, I’ve never been one to buy into the notion that any publicity is good publicity. In my view, Kraft is not exactly seen as a hip brand and with this stunt, they’ve simply reinforced this notion. Either way, it’s a fascinating case study and a great example of the power of social media to drive corporate decisions.