Why Bacardi Too Wants to Chase Facebook Likes

Bacardi rum is perhaps the latest among the brands that don’t understand the meaning of social media-based promotions and want to entice consumers with all types of baits to win their ‘Likes’ on Facebook, etc.

Such consumers otherwise have no interest in the brand except the freebies that they might get by blindly pressing the ‘Like’ link without even knowing what the brand is trying to communicate.

By Rakesh Raman

Recently, Guinness World Records honored Oreo as the first brand to attempt – and set – the Guinness World Records mark for the “Most ‘likes’ on a Facebook post in 24 hours.”

While the Oreo reign as a social media record holder may be short and sweet, the company says, Oreo fans around the world rallied to help their favorite cookie become the world’s “Most Liked.” (Read: Which Brand Got Most ‘Likes’ on Facebook?)

As everything is free on Facebook, a typical user can ‘Like’ multiple brand pages. And with enticements from companies, such users would keep pressing ‘Likes’ left, right, and center – and the count may go up to even six dozen per user. So what?  That doesn’t mean they have any real liking for the brand they like virtually.

[ Also Read: Going from Like to Love on Facebook ]

More examples: A contest is launched on Callaway’s Facebook page, where participants can also win one of 25 Callaway Diablo Octane Drivers, a new club that is Timberlake’s current driver of choice, etc. (Read: Callaway, Justin Timberlake Launch Facebook Contest)

Nivea Skincare and Rihanna announced the “Rihanna Live” sweepstakes, an opportunity for Nivea Facebook Fans to win tickets to global music icon Rihanna’s upcoming North American LOUD Tour; sponsored by Nivea. (Read: Nivea Calling You to Meet Rihanna on Facebook)

And 7-Eleven, Inc. will award one of its most unusual prizes ever – a trip to space – as part of its super month-long promotion with Paramount Pictures’ film Super 8, releasing in theaters June 10. 

To enter the sweepstakes, 7-Eleven guests are called to check in on Foursquare, a location-based social media mobile platform, using their smart phone while at a 7-Eleven store. (Read: Super 8 Movie Check in to Space Campaign)

While the list of such brands that are trying to misuse social media is endless, social media sites have become virtual gambling grounds for idle consumers.

[ Also Read: Bing Brings Friend Effect to Facebook ]

Marketers who think that social network users can become useful consumers are living in a perpetual state of illusion. Most of these users are typically social; they’re hardly interested in any commercial activity.

And marketers are pushing them farther away by taking ordinary steps on online social platforms while promoting their offerings. (Read: 10 Reasons Why Social Media Doesn’t Help)

So, Bacardi announces the launch of “Like It Live, Like It Together” as part of its “Bacardi Together” campaign. The rum brand says it will bring people together by turning consumers’ online “Likes” expressed through Facebook into real life experiences for fans at events to be held in New York on June 13 and Las Vegas on June 15.  

It believes the library of Facebook ‘Likes’ provides a powerful voting mechanism that empowers consumers to voice their choice and have Bacardi bring their winning “Likes” to life.

[ Also Read: My 15 Confessions as a Facebook User ]

Last month, Bacardi made tickets available to win through its Facebook fan page and because of the overwhelming number of ticket entries, Bacardi has made an additional 500 tickets available for fans, it says. 

To enter for a chance to win, the company is calling consumers to visit the Bacardi Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Bacardi beginning at 1pm today, June 2.

“For nearly 150 years, Bacardi has been bringing great cocktails and people together to celebrate life. Bacardi ’Like It Live, Like It Together’ is the modern-day execution of that philosophy,” said Toby Whitmoyer, vice president and category managing director, rum.

“Like It Live, Like It Together” New York and Las Vegas events will feature larger than life “Likes” as voted by consumers. Facebook “Like” categories include cocktails, music, food, leisure activities and entertainment.

The “Like It Live, Like It Together” Facebook ticket contest ends at 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 5, 2011 and is open to U.S. residents 21 years of age or older (excluding California, Rhode Island and Utah).

While it may take some more time before the social media fad in its current free-wheeling form dies down, marketers need plenty of learning to apply any social media promotional techniques for brand promotions. Now, this social media thing is totally unorganized.

By Rakesh Raman, the managing editor of Raman Media Network.

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