One of the more well-know events, the 3M Carjacks of the Post-It Note Jaguar, is an interesting case study of mine because it is so simple and so big. Of course in hindsight it’s easy to critique, but if one looks at this as an observer and marketer, what is the real learning opportunity here?
Well there are obvious things, although I won’t waste time discussing them here as others have beat them to death around the Net. One only has to read the way the event unfolded. And it is easy to just say, “Oh 3M did this” or “3M should have done that.” But to me the one thing that still puzzles me is the inaction from 3M’s part. Maybe silence is the best new damage control in this case, I don’t know. I’m still searching for some indication or response from the company. Still not successful. Valeria Maltoni asks the same question in her article “Where is 3M in the Conversation About the Post-It Note Promotion?“.
Without being judgmental, I’m wondering how a large company like 3M would respond to the world about an event like this. Here’s a theory: there’s really no need to publicly respond to this. Internally, maybe 3M managers had meetings, decided that it’s in their best interest to learn the lesson and move on. They may have reprimanded the employee(s) responsible for this, or they may not. The proper thing to do is sending their marketing personnel to a refresher/crash course on marketing in the new social networking age. There are lots to be learned and relearned.
Aside from all the blogs in the web, I don’t think 3M lost much out of this. The campaign itself may have been very successful financially (I’ll have to check on this and update this sentence at a later time).
View the original Post-It Notes Jaguar photos on flickr.
View a video: ABC News with Scott Ableman telling his story, as shown on YouTube.