Social Media: Advertising that bites back & spits wine in your face too

Murphy-Goode did a not so goode job of managing their recent social media campaign for the Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent.

That’s what I thought as I was putting my video together and observing the campaign, but I kept it to myself.

I read the fine print–the fine print on the site that said the Top 50 would be selected by an HR firm. The fine print didn’t say anything about the Top 50 being selected by the voters or that popularity had anything to do with it.

Knowing this, I still encouraged my friends and family to vote for me–as well as my network of friends and their friends and friends of friends at the college where I teach, through twitter and through facebook. And I didn’t make public my musings about what the upshot would be if a popular candidate wasn’t chosen.

Today’s SF Chronicle however, is not keeping quiet–and neither is top vote getter Martin Sargent. They published a story today about Sargent who used his social media savvy to attain many thousand more votes than anyone else. According to their story, Sargent got 6,000 votes.

Which surprised me because watching his video he didn’t impress me. But it wasn’t about the video–it was getting his network to vote for him.

His network came out for him. I remember seeing that he had over 6,000 votes when other top 10 vote getters like one of my favorites Hardy Wallace had under 2,000. I happened to be on-line at midnight 24 hours before they were to announce the Top 50. I was checking the number of votes people had when all of a sudden, the site changed and I saw the Top 50. I tweeted the results, facebooked and emailed a few of the Top 50 I knew or had gotten to know as well as congratulating VinTank’s Paul Mabray that 7 of the 8 candidates he was advising had made the cut.

Not that I’m an expert, but I’d already been done this “Dream Job” road as a candidate for the Island Caretaker on the Great Barrier Reef job and I’d seen how social media can bite the hand that feeds it.

I saw how Island Caretaker candidate Claire somehow ended up with many thousands of votes –and heard many say how easy it is to hack a vote counting system.

I watched first hand the uproar about Julia, the Top 50 candidate dubbed the “Porn Queen” who was dropped from the campaign. I’m still getting hits on my blog post about that!

I saw how supportive, how ugly, and how bizarre a ning can get over a competition.

And I also experienced the backlash when not only I wasn’t chosen but that the choices were skewed in a way that I and my supporters didn’t approve–and many other candidates complained about as well.  As much as they’re fans of the great barrier reef, my loyal friends were not too loyal anymore to the brand I’d been pushing. I know at least one candidate who decided to go to New Zealand instead of AUS when she didn’t make the Top 50.

With the Murphy-Goode job, some of my friends wondered why I was so gung-ho on what they dubbed a “goode” but not a great wine, w winery part pf a huge “family” of wineries, and a greenwashed winery at that. Wasn’t there a better winery for me to work for they asked?

A winery that’s part of a company that’s issuing lay-offs, including one to the guy who came up with the idea in the first place?

Here are some excerpts from the original SF Gate article:

Murphy-Goode, part of Jess Jackson’s Jackson Family Wines empire, devised a dream job – $60,000 and lodging over six months for one savvy social media wizard to make the Healdsburg winery the talk of the Internet.

Nearly 2,000 eager applicants emerged, and some 900 videos were posted online, a key part of the application process. Many took to their Facebook and MySpace pages, gushing about the chance to live the “Goode life” and pleading with fans to vote for them in a running tally of popularity on the winery’s Web site.

But when the winery unveiled its top 50 finalists in late June, top vote-getter Martin Sargent of San Francisco, a former TechTV host and Internet celebrity of sorts, was not on the list. The winery has removed the tallies, but Sargent’s reported 6,000 votes put him well ahead of the pack. His video application had received 34,090 YouTube views as of Thursday.

Of course, the winery had portrayed the “Goode Job” campaign as an extended job search, complete with interviews. But voting on its Web site complicated that picture, especially as social media thrives on popularity rankings. The purpose of the votes wasn’t explicitly stated, but candidates quickly lobbied their networks for a boost.

Digital marketing strategist Paul Mabray of VinTank in Napa, who is advising several finalists, said the winery fell short by trying to embrace social media without fully understanding its rules.

“Yeah, we screwed up,” said Caroline Shaw, senior vice president at Jackson Family Enterprises and a winery spokeswoman. Continue reading

Murphy-Goode Announces Final 50 24 Hours Early?

Murphy-Goode announced the Top 50 for their Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent 24 hours early –and I’m not on the list.

What’s up with that? Not just that I didn’t make the list, but 24 hours early? Did they outsource the selection to AUS? Programming snafu? Their site was showing there was more than a whole day to vote when all of a sudden there was not! I know because I was on their site around midnight California time!

After all the goodwill and interest Murphy-Goode has generated with this campaign, how much of that will that disappear because of disappointed losers? It’s one thing to be disappointed because you didn’t make the cut–another thing to find out you didn’t even get one more day to campaign!

Not that voting seemed to really have much of an impact. I was able to see the numbers of the Final 50 before they totaled them out. (I know you would have thought they would have done that BEFORE going live!) Some of the Final 50 had less than 100 total votes–some even under 50.

VinTank did well –7 of their 8 candidates made the 50.

I’m drowning my sorrows in some really good single malt, I’ve voted for VinTank’s Todd Havens and a few others who will do a really goode job, I’m teaching myself how to spell good again (good not goode), and then I will take myself off to bed knowing that the really right job is just around the corner.

In the meantime, I’ve got my life back. I’m not chasing after that job. I am enjoying being back in the classroom again teaching lit this summer. In the fall I have two comp classes where we’re going to study Chris Carlsson’s book Nowtopia  and put into practice ways to reinvent the future today.

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to work in the wine industry doing social media. In particular, my goal is to work to support and promote local and regional wineries actively embracing the biodynamic/organic/sustainable spectrum. VinTank, are you listening?

In the meantime, life’s really good. Without that job where I put an e after that word.


And, if I took that really goode job, when would I have time to blog for YOU, my loyal readers?

Thank you for your votes, your kind words, and your support during the past few days as I drummed up last minute votes for my last minute campaign.

PS My beloved Macbook Pro is on the fritz–the power cord doesn’t want to take a charge. So if I disappear here for a few days, it’s because I’m wanting for Apple to send me a new one–FREE. Gotta love Apple. They take care of their peeps.

Wine Predator: Going for A Really Goode Job

Art Predator aka Wine Predator: I Want “A Really Goode Job”

Murphy-Goode wineJust over a month ago, Queensland Tourism announced Ben Southall Gets Best Job in the World!

Which meant that Art Predator aka Wine Predator did not. And for those of you who follow this blog (and there are a lot of you, lurkers and commentors alike), you know my huge disappointment. You likely recall that I wrote a lot about Australia (not just my typical AUS wine posts!) and the Great Barrier Reef  in the weeks leading up to that announcement–posts that, I must admit, have very long tails and continue to be quite active.

In the same post, I mentioned that Murphy-Goode was a week or so into a contest looking for a “Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent,” and I wondered whether I should throw my hat into the ring. I even bought a bottle of 2005 Murphy-Goode Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at the Ventura Wine Store on Telephone.

But I was still licking my wound, letting the warm consoling words of friends wash over and heal me.

Until now. Yes, friends Helen and Dave have been after me to apply ever since I told them about the Murphy-Goode wine blogging and social media job while we were en route to the Delicious Wine Tasting in Santa Monica. Dave keeps giving me that “I’ll never forgive you if you don’t apply” look. So I’ve decided to go for it.

One minute video applications are due Friday June 19 at midnight, California time. I’ve got my script ready, and my lines rehearsed. Some filming and editing is done, my friends and family are lined up, and the tritip is marinating for the fine dinner party we’re going to have with some Murphy-Goode wine up at my mom’s house.

And then. And then.

And then I’m cruising the internet and find this: a wine marketing think tank, VinTank, has already vetted the existing candidates, chosen their favorites, and even helped them promote their candidacy. At one point, they even offered Murphy-Goode $100,000 in services if M-G chose one of their favorites!!

Hello? Murphy-Goode Dream Job? My dream has been squelched before I even finished my video!

OK, I admit, this is a great way for VinTank to draw attention to their white paper on the wine business and social media. And one of the candidates they chose (Todd Havens) was one I chose and even featured on my blog in this post: Art Predator Gets Best Mom, Ben Southall Gets Best Job in the World!

Yep, he’s really good. And his video is really good–or is that goode?

Anyway, now I am in a quandary. The invites are out. Friends and family have made plans. I’m looking forward to seeing them, to enjoying the great meal I have planned, and to drinking this Murphy-Goode wine I bought!

So–The party’s is ON!!

PS And you know it–you will be the first to know how it goes! I am counting on you, my faithful readers, to vote and support my candidacy! Together we can do it, we can put the Art Predator to work at a Really Goode job!

And, if you get a chance, drop those folks over at VinTank a note and ask them to save a spot for the Art Predator aka Wine Predator. They won’t regret it!