Ad Men Douche Baggery At its Finest: And A Wasted Facebook Connect Moment

Sooooo....looks like douche baggery is still alive and well in the land of digi marketing, hooray! Looks like the kids over at Razorfish had this super neat idea about creating a "doghouse" that women could put their significant others in unless they buy them...diamonds! Oh, Raz, you know us women oh so well (blah). The recently launched "Beware of the Doghouse" campaign for JC Penney is, according to the press release:

"A viral marketing campaign that allows women to put their significant other in the "Doghouse" for bad gift choices this holiday season. This new site and the marketing campaign behind it provide a fun, interactive way for women to encourage the men they love to get out of the “Doghouse,” by purchasing affordable diamond gifts from The Jewelry Store inside JCPenney. Launching today, the campaign is one of the first marketing sites to use the new Facebook Connect application, allowing visitors to easily put their Facebook Friends in the "Doghouse."

Not only is the premise of the campaign utterly ridiculous and condescending--but at its center is what else...a microsite! A microsite, oh why didn't we think of that before?! Ah, but wait, it gets better. They implemented Facebook Connect. Now, you'd think I'd be pretty excited about it as I've been covering FBC since it was first announced back in May of this year...ah, but marketers never fail me. So did they do something useful with the FBC implementation? No! They created this lame microsite and a game by which chicks can put their dudes in a doghouse and do so via Facebook Connect. So, you chose to use FBC to let girls pick Facebook friends/bf's into some lame doghouse? Because that is super useful and makes much more sense than say, integrating FBC into the JC Penney online shopping experience and thereby including friend data (purchases, wishlists, etc) into the product merchandising model. No, that just makes too much sense. We'll just stick with this awesome Doghouse thing...sweet!

What a wasted opportunity to really do something compelling with FBC, and to explore the potential of data portability and its impact on user experience, and in the retail case, impact on sales (well, in the case of FBC, data portability on training wheels, but whatever). I'm afraid of FBC becoming yet another poorly handled FB initative. FAIL!


David said...

To clarify: although Razorfish executed the media buy for the project, the social media idea and creative execution did not come from Razorfish -- David Deal, vice president of marketing, Razorfish.

alisa leonard-hansen said...


Thank you for the comment and the clarification. This blog tends to take an overtly snarky tone sometimes, and the feedback is appreciated.

ZGambit said...

I feel your anger... a bad creative concept to what could have been a great marketing strategy for JC Penney.

Your blog hit it on the spot when you said it was about integrating FBC into the JC Penney online shopping experience and thereby including friend data (purchases, wishlists, etc) into the product merchandising model.

Trust me I was extremely pleased to see this as
a) direct marketer
b) social media marketer.
In the sense it is about promoting the shopping experience and then further communicating to the consumer on a 1-1 basis. From Social Media aspects I see this as a great way of friends referring certain products to other friends and then reaching out to them if they follow the interests of that particular purchase or wish list.

The direct marketing view of FBC may not really be direct marketing as it has be measurable and you have to know who purchased, so this may flawed.

alisa leonard-hansen said...


Thanks for the comments! As for measurability, as far as I know, from talking with Facebook, 3rd party sites that are FBC-enabled will have visibility into the FB data and be able to track and analyze it. The catch is they can only cache that data for 24 hours although its on their roadmap to change this, perhaps on a case by case basis...

sirmichael said...

The video was funny but couldn't agree more, the entire thing can be characterized by two words: MISSED OPPORTUNITY.

Ya, they attempted to make it all social and sh*t with FBC (because it's cool to do), video uploads, blah, blah, blah, but, talk about a MISSED OPPORTUNITY.

But, why am I even surprised? These 'ad men,' just can't get their heads out of their as**es and out of the micro-site/campaign world. OK, enough ranting. Some real observations:

1) Audience is unclear. Seemed like the video and site is for women but ultimately the objective is to have men make a purchase. The set up is OK but gets confused. Alas, you go home alone.


2) As a man, I would actually find it really helpful to have a place to that recommends products that would make my lady friend happy with me. Ya, I've made mistakes in my purchases in the past and need my very own Yoda.


3) Tied to #2...I could use that all year round. A perpetual campaign shall we say?

Hmmmm...a media property about all things shopping or women. Hmmm...sponsored by JC Penneys? Hmmmm...a social experience that has useful contents that is integrated with shopping.

Did I MISS something?