Fail fast or fail deliberately?

When is a fail not a fail?

Maybe when it’s what you are aiming for all along?

The Burger King Google Home triggering ad is not a Pepsi or United-level PR disaster. This looks deliberate: the old stunt of generating column inches (like this) talking about an ad and then not having to spend media money by getting it pulled. As soon as the ad went live the clock was ticking down until Google put a block on the audio signature and the functionality — and conceit — was defunct.

Where things potentially went wrong is not allowing for the internet’s natural response to any UGC or hackable corporate campaign — to either draw a penis on it or kick off a satirical flamewar.

If Burger King could edit their Wikipedia entry then so could anyone else seeking fleeting fame and bragging rights. When this happens the real value — beyond the initial reach and visibility — is in the response. How Burger King manages the next stage and turns it into positive brand awareness is key.

It can and has been done before.

Paradoxically econometrics reveal that sometimes the most successful and efficient part of a campaign has been an internet pile on, and allegedly even 44% of people have a more favourable view of Pepsi after watching THAT masterpiece…

Besides there’ll be another “worst ever corporate fail” along next week to push Burger King deeper into the internet’s collective outrage memory.

This was a comment for Campaign Magazine:

Strategy Director. ex-CD, Planning Director & Head of UX @ Digitas, DIG, Publicis, Chemistry & JWT. APG Gold & Google Planning Innovator of Year.

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