Bacardi Canada has joined the blogosphere, but in a somewhat unorthodox manner. They have hired Dave, in a move that is similar to other campaigns such as the Captain Morgan Blog (now visiting Davy Jones’ locker). I have heard the term coined as character bloggers by my partner and colleague Tris Hussey in describing this type of blogger. Dave is not a representative of the company, in fact they are apparently paying him partially in product to be their blogger.
Rick Bruner, our fearless leader here at BBC states:
“If you think of blogs outside of the marketing context â€” just your ordinary person writing a journal online â€” they tend to be nothing more than honest and transparent, individual and personal.
“And when companies try to fake that for marketing purposes and try to, in a sense, hoodwink readers into thinking it’s something it’s not, in many cases bloggers tend to react very badly.
In fact a contributor here Dave Taylor boils it down to:
“I think it’s a little naÃ¯ve to think that … every blog has to be real and genuine from a real person that you could meet on the street or go have lunch with,” notes Taylor.
“A blog is just a tool. There’s nothing special about it. There’s nothing magic. It doesn’t re- invent corporations. It doesn’t fundamentally change anything.
“It’s up to people and up to companies to come up with interesting and creative ways to utilize the tool.”
Steve Rubel of Micropersuasion and Senior VP at Edelman says the right way to use the tool as referred to by Taylor is to have some executive in the company be the blogger:
“Corporate blogs, whether they come from the executives or employees or customers, are tremendous.”
This wouldn’t be the first time I disagreed with Steve, but I think that hiring a blogger when you don’t have the ability is a smart move. Some companies don’t have the manpower or someone in the organization that is equipped to handle the duties of a blogger. Blogger are at the moment a rare breed. They are a mixture of writer, public relation specialist, advertiser and IT person. Not every company has this in their arsenal of employees.
I agree completely with Rick’s thoughts:
“If you’re doing something trying to be funny, then be really funny, not just kind of mild funny that the marketing department and the legal department and the HR department are going to sign off on as funny,” he says. “That’s not funny.”
Give this blogger a little time to perform, but as a character blogger goes, I find him to be amateurish towards his approach and the quality of the conversation lacking. Perhaps when he is in a drunken stupor from the client’s product or it is wages, he might actually submit something that is his own and not just another blog that is trying to act like a myspace.com knock off.