[UPDATE: Read David Armano's inside account; AdAge's report]
A funny thing happened last night. P&G - as part of a private digital night in Cincinnati - turned to some of the most well-known names in social media to accomplish a few things [all but #1 are speculation only]:
Raise money for their charity, Tide Loads of Hope [clean clothes to families in need of support after natural disasters]
- Demonstrate the power of social media to senior executives
- Ingratiate themselves with the social media who's-who [a proactive insurance policy]
What did they do?
For a few hours, several teams - led by different cewebrities hunkered down at P&G headquarters - bombarded Digg, blogs, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube,
Facebook and more with links to Tide's web site where you could buy vintage looking Tide t-shirts. Twitter was particularly insane, with #pgdigital appearing non-stop.
How did they do?
According to one participant, $50K in four hours, with P&G matching $50K. I don't care how deep P&G's coffers are, they should be commended for the match. Bravo!
- I'm sure this experiment went a long way towards changing some old school minds within the organization.
- Tide's name was all over the Internet last night, and I'm sure it will be written about a lot today. The thing to watch for today is backlash, which you saw starting last night and I'm sure Tide knew was inevitable.
- All the usual social media suspects were virtually tripping over themselves to help promote this. But come on, who doesn't want to be in P&G's good graces [and help raise money]?
Did you participate [disclosure: I purchased a shirt]? Either way, what do you think of the excercise?
Did you think the external agency participants at P&G last night went far enough to disclose their relationship with the company? I saw a video from Ian Schafer of Deep Focus (@ischafer) who was very clear to state his agency did not work for P&G. But I didn't see that same transparency from others. Maybe I missed it in the frenzy?
Do you think, as Brian Morrissey, Digital Editor at Adweek seems to based on his tweets below, that we were all played?