Toyota definitely took a novel approach to advertising this weekend. Too bad it all blew up in their face.
The Next Web is reporting that Toyota has taken to Twitter to advertise their new Camry Effect by offering Twitter users the chance to win one of the new cars. The account @CamryEffect was replying to users who used a Super Bowl related hashtag like #Giants or #Patriots and replying to the tweet with the same offer to win a car every time.
What made this worse is that Toyota set up verified accounts for @CamryEffect alongside @CamryEffect1, @CamryEffect2 and so on. This allowed the company to effectively spam their Twitter campaign to every user who was using Super Bowl related hashtags.
Users were bombarded with the same tweets over and over again until they decided that enough was enough. They took the matter to Twitter who seemingly ignored the reports.
Thankfully, the company, either through Twitter telling them to stop or through their own realization, has stopped the spam campaign. They have suspended all the extra @CamryEffect accounts and made the original private.
Toyota apologized for the spam campaign via a statement:
We apologize to anyone in the Twitterverse who received an unwanted @reply over the past few days. We were excited to share the message of our Camry Effect campaign in a new way and it was never our intention to displease anyone. We’ve certainly learned from this experience and have suspended the accounts effective immediately to avoid any additional issues. Kimberley Gardiner, National Digital Marketing & Social Media Manager, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc.
This is just another example of social media gone terribly wrong. You would think that companies would learn by now. If you want a successful social media ad campaign, don’t shove it in their faces.