Social Media – The Right Way to Launch a Global Product?

I’m just throwing this one out there, right? And I’ll leave you to fight over its bones.

Sony Ericsson launched ‘two new ‘green’ ‘phones with a pioneering live webcast that incorporated three live digital elements simultaneously’. These were Twitter, Kyte and ipadio. In the first six hours, they received 5,500 hits. (Just to clarify, I take ‘digital elements’ here to read ‘social media’ , because of the media they chose.)

Now, I’m seriously hoping that they had a bit more to their launch campaign than this – I’m certain they must have done (and no, I’ve not bothered to search to find out whether they went all ‘trad’ media as well, because it’s not the point) because they are a giant, global organisation and thus they must employ at least some people who are not of the calibre of Merran Wrigley “We needed to start at the beginning of our story in order to gain credibility with a green audience. We used digital to generate and keep the buzz online.” Say wha’, Merran? I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and choose to believe that you were misquoted.

But it’s in Merran’s quotation that my problem lies. Global organisation, apparently a global launch. ‘Phones. Need to sell lots. Green ‘phones. Very aux courant. Could sell absolutely shedloads, I’d have thought.

Therefore, and here’s the thing. Out of a potential global consumer audience numbering hundreds of millions – if not billions – do we really think that 5,500 hits in six hours is good? Personally, I think it’s pants.

And the comms guru (in the Alanis Morissette sense) who sorted this triumph out said “digital-only launches were more environmentally-friendly than traditional media launches.”

And considerably less effective. Remind me again, someone – sustainable vs environmental? Isn’t environmental green at all costs, regardless of its effect on the business (wrong) – and sustainable is doing your best to be responsible, and going out of your way to be responsible, but recognising that being sustainble means that your business should be sustainable as well (sounds about right).

The more I think about this, the more amazed I am. If I was a shareholder in Sony Ericsson, I’d want someone’s cojones, lightly sauteed, on a plate.

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