Wal-Mart's hubtastic flop
Whoever approved The Hub project at Wal-Mart should be fired.
Or, at the very least, the person should have nothing more to do with online marketing. Ideas are fine, and I'm sure when someone said, "It will be the MySpace for WalMart!" it got a bunch of attention. But the exec who heard that line and believed it should be fired, because he/she does not understand interactive marketing and never will.
The Hub is so pathetic, it hurts.
Of all the sad attempts by major brands to co-opt popular online trends (think: Coke Music) this is one of the worst. But don't take my word for it ... Go read what the 1486 people on Digg have to say. The commentary is priceless. Or, if you like a more journalistic critique, give AdAge a try.
When Wal-Mart tries to be MySpace, who do they think they are kidding? Certainly not the kids using social networks like MySpace, Bebo or the others. I would love to have been a fly on the wall in the Wal-Mart marketing department the day they came up with this idea. I need a good laugh now and then.
Paid actors. Fake videos, even/especially on the homepage. Scripted dialogue. "I'll school my way by looking hot in my Wal-Mart clothes to school to catch a cute boy's eye. ..."
Catchy slogans that sound like they've been thought up by clever ad agencies and brand marketers. Hey dude, wanna be a Hubster? Plus, it all lives within a nice, sanitized environment where kids can't even email eachother. Sounds really cool, doesn't it? Now *that's* social networking the way it ought to be.
And file this in the strange but true department: All the images on The Hub are hosted in the ExxonMobil account on Akamai. Ewww. Spotted by n.e-lists.
All this crap does a brand more harm than good.
Technorati Tags: social.networks, corporate, dinosaurs, walmart
Monday, July 24, 2006