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!