Sierra Mist Regifting Campaign on Facebook a Total Dud

Sierra Mist's Regifting Campaign, with requisite Facebook Page here, is a total dud, and frankly, an example of what not to do when trying to "go viral" or use social media.

The campaign is essentially making fun of regifting and trying to get people to talk about their regifting experiences on Facebook, watch "videos" from regifters posted on and send virtual regifted items on Facebook.

There are so many problems here, I don't know where to start. The videos are totally inauthentic, obviously scripted or at least loosely scripted and from actors. They are really not even funny, although maybe somebody out there finds them funny? The videos are confusing, long and totally unrelated to Sierra Mist. The Facebook wall posts are being monitored and deleted if at all negative. Most importantly, what I'm really trying to figure out is, WHAT THE HECK DOES REGIFTING HAVE TO DO WITH SIERRA MIST CRANBERRY SPLASH? It's a total, bizarre disconnect and clearly the product of well-meaning but totally misstepping advertising execs. It's not a fresh new idea, and it has nothing to do with soda. Everyone's trying to redo "Elf Yourself" but it's just not working. Boy, do I hope they didn't waste additional money on a tv campaign.

The Facebook page was posted a couple of weeks ago and as of 12/9 at 1 PM has 639 fans. I am sure these fans will grow, especially thanks to a heavy Facebook ad spend including embedded videos and "gift" sponsorship. Estimated spend: at least $50,000, maybe closer to $150,000. Contrast this with (full-disclosure, my client, though pro-bono) Surprise Lake Camp, a Jewish sleep-away camp whose page I helped publish 2 days ago with a $0 Facebook ad spend: a popular camp, with a clear target and message and a dynamic Page, and 2 days later, 501 fans. Nothing fancy, just a brand being smart and targeted.

When will brands get it??? Be fake, "supercool," and misuse tools in an attempt to "go viral", and people will resist, no matter how much money you spend. Be authentic, transparent and fun, and people will respond.