Friday Fun: Did I mention Qantas and Big Data before?

By Clive Gold, CTO Marketing, EMC Australia and New Zealand

Well for those of you who are not twitter savvy, or haven’t been following the story of the Qantas twitter competition. Here are the basics, Qantas decided to run a competition on twitter with the tag #QantasLuxury to win a pair of PJ’s and a toothbrush. (Already a hint of disaster looming.) Well as you would expect, with all the incidents and news around this organisation, the twitter community went to town. Now being reported all over the place as a massive PR failure, if you are interested in how creative annoyed people can get, zdnet, igo2groop, reuters.

We can have a good laugh at all the creative people out there and I’m sure who ever thought up this campaign probably didn’t realise that creativity can be negative. In-fact may even be easier to be creative when poking fun at something. This whole thing reminded me of the Monty Python scene, “The Black Knight”, (here from The Holy Grail), where no matter how battered Qantas has been, they still out there asking for more!

My mother always said, “look before you leap”! If you have time, do a twitter search for Qantas and a negative adjective, and you will immediately see that the brand currently has a great deal of negativity associated with.  So who would have thought that it was a good time to launch a campaign, which given a few searches, was obviously asking for trouble. Not only this but it had no relevance to addressing the current the sentiment. Infact one tweet I saw really summed up how ill-thought through the whole thing was. The tweet was about using the prize next time Qantas leave them stranded!

My point is why does an organisation like this not have the means to instantly measure their brand sentiment?  Here is a prime and public example where Big Data could have gone a long way in helping this PR person structure a campaign that addressed a real issue and build their brand as well as not landing up being tagged as the “worst PR failure in Australia!”

Now before you or I throw stones, can your organisation do this? Does your organisation monitor twitter for complaints, questions, frustration.. and address them?


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