Monday, March 30, 2009

Are You Bringing Sexy Back?

Every company needs to think carefully about what kind of a social media presence their brand should have, and perhaps it makes sense to dip a toe in the water to test it out before diving right in. From what I can tell, the lingerie line Agent Provocateur maybe should have planned a little longer before announcing their intentions to jump into the blogosphere, Twitter and Facebook, just in time for a very sexy Valentine's Day campaign. Warning: it is pretty racy.

My problem isn't with their choice of vehicles; from what I can see, they hired the right voice to create a sexy yet approachable online personality. My problem is their apparent radio-silence after their campaign ended. Repeatedly I have tried to access their blog,, but each time I get a 403 Forbidden Error. Perhaps the site has come down. There are several Facebook pages dedicated to AP, but none is particularly informative or seems to necessarily be sponsored by the company. On Twitter, the last tweet from MsProvocateur is dated February 26. From a vague tweet earlier in the day, it seems like she has been sent on some kind of "research" trip:

so exciting! because of your comments APs sending me around the world to research sex! hot but ill miss u guys! will u miss me?

So apparently wherever they sent her does not have internet access. Frankly, now that it has been so long, I am a little worried for her safety. What if some indigenous tribe took offense at her lingerie?

All joking aside, once you start a discussion, you can't just walk away in the middle of it. AP took the time to announce their endeavor to the world and got some PR out of it. There are thousands of fans on the Facebook pages and a little over a thousand followers on Twitter. There is no way of telling what traffic on the blog was like.

Looking at StrawberryFrog, the agency AP hired to launch their foray into social media, they seem like a good choice as they describe their philosophy like this:

We create Cultural Movements for clients who think big.
StrawberryFrog is an independent Cultural Movement agency that helps our clients lead in the new world. We have strong partnerships with some of the best known brands in the world. Today, consumers don't just want to buy brands, they want to BUY IN to what a brand believes in. In this new age, we create Cultural Movement strategies for our clients. This is our DNA, our competitive edge. In a fragmented media world, a Cultural Movement gives our client's incredible momentum.

So where did it all go wrong? How could AP think it was a good idea to end their Cultural Movement before I even heard about it? Movement to me implies something ongoing or revolutionary, not just a Valentine's Day stunt.