Saturday, July 2, 2011

Put your hat back on - Head & Shoulders #HatsOffNYY and #HatsOffLOS

Do you listen to sports talk radio?

Did you hear all of the sports talk hosts gabbing incessantly about the Head & Shoulders "hats off" promotion - where you can tweet about the "hats off" moments of your favorite MLB team (with the winning team getting a charity donation)?

Presumably the Head & Shoulders people thought that baseball fans would get engaged, and that when player X made a great play, they'd all rush out and tweet #HatsOffXXX (where "XXX" is the appropriate designation for your team, as found on the Head & Shoulders for Men Facebook page.

Now I, who live in southern California, had a different idea. I thought that perhaps this would be a wonderful vehicle to vent my feelings about the current owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Frank McCourt.

So, beginning on the first day of the competition, June 30, I started venting. Here are a couple of samples:

Amazing play - FrankMcCourt did NOT rob a bank this morning (at least with a gun) #HatsOffLOS

Frank McCourt is only having a two-martini lunch today. #HatsOffLOS

Yeah, stupid stuff I know, but it beats talking about Google+ 24/7.

But as I did some searches to see how my tweets were influencing the traffic for #HatsOffLOS, I found that my tweets WERE influencing the contest.

In fact, they were dominating the contest.

In fact, they were the only tweets for that hashtag.

Well, I thought to myself, the Dodgers are in last place, so it's understandable that no one is tweeting about them.

Then I found out what Steve Allan said about a team that is actually in contention:

I searched for #HatsoffNYY. You would think with a fan base as large as the Yankees’ there would be at least ONE tweet. Nope. Three strikes and yer out.

Allan explains why:

[T]he keys to a successful Social Media contest are value and simplicity. Neither applies here. Now, I’m not saying that a $50K donation is a bad thing. But, what is my motivation as a contest participant to do this? In other words – what’s in it for me?!

Think about it. I’m watching the Yankees play the Mets and Curtis Granderson makes an amazing catch. What’s the first thing I’m going to do? Why, tweet this “hats off moment” to my followers. Woo-hoo.

I’m not going to explore how a “hats off moment” relates to dandruff prevention. It seems I wear a hat when my dandruff is bad. But, I leave that logic to their advertising agency.

Read the rest here.

It doesn't help that, as of the morning of July 2 - the third day of the contest - the Head & Shoulders page still shows a string of goose eggs, even though we all know that the Dodgers hashtag is getting some traffic (and, after this post hits Twitter, the Yankees hashtag will get traffic also). In other words, Head & Shoulders isn't bothering to update the statistics.

Perhaps they're too embarrassed.

Or perhaps they're just not executing their strategy. There is a Twitter account associated with the promotion - @hsformen. As I write this, the account has tweeted twice - both times on June 30.

In other words, I'm tweeting about the Head & Shoulders promotion more than Head & Shoulders is.

In fact, I'm not sure if I've heard any of those ads on sports talk radio lately. It almost seems like Head & Shoulders and its advertising agency did a bunch of promotion before the start date of June 30, and then just figured that things would happen magically. Or perhaps that Robert Scoble or someone would write about the promotion, causing thousands upon thousands of baseball fans to participate.

Well, unfortunately for Head & Shoulders, only Steve Allan and I have written about the promotion so far.

Oh, I take that back. Seeking Alpha has blogged about the promotion. As has The Street. Unfortunately, all that they did is re-run a Procter & Gamble press release, without comment. (Par for the course for today's journalism.)

My conclusion? The whole contest is pretty flaky in execution, and when you look at it you'll want to quickly turn away. At least until Wisk launches its "ring around the bases" promotion.
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