Kimberly-Clark Professional Shows Us How To (Not) Do It

Oh, for Pete’s sake.

On October 31, 2007 (as near as I can tell from the numerous stories picked up from the PRNewswire such as this one), the Alien Droppings “viral” campaign (note: campaigns that kick off with a PR Newswire release are not exactly viral) site features the stock elements of a campaign of this sort. A Flash video. A promise of another Flash video. Tell-a-Friend functonality. And a contest to engage the user. Apparently, at the beginning, the site linked to a page on AlienDroppings. com called http://www.aliendroppings.com/welcome.html.

contests.about.com picked up this original link and posted it, and I had a field day lamenting the poor state of the application, including the following problems.

When you visit the Web site using Internet Explorer, you’re treated to the basic layout of the site and can watch the first video:

Alien Droppings home page
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It identifies the elements: The link to the two videos, the link to the tell a friend functionality, product information, rules, sweepstakes info, and whatnot.

Click the I Need Details button, and the site tells you a little about the contest, including the deadline:

 

The details and the deadline
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Notice that the deadline is January 31, 2008, or less than a week from today. Now, click Watch Part 2 and get treated to a little snippet:

Watch for Part 2
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Last November
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Sweet Cracklin’ Rosie, the second part of the video was supposed to be up two months ago. Well, someone missed a deadline. But, who cares? I have a great idea for the contest and I could use a video camera. So I click the Drop Off Your Script button and a new window appears:

Submission form isn't ready yet
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The submission form isn’t ready yet? For Pete’s sake! It’s six days before the end of the contest. Hey, what’s that Tell a Friend button do? Let’s click Drop Alien Droppings On All Your Friends button:

Some Tell-a-Friend form
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That’s a mailto link! Great googly moogly.

Then I went directly to the AlienDroppings.com URL (http://www.aliendroppings.com) using Firefox, and I see that the URL that does not specify the Welcome page. Instead, it redirects to http://www.kcprofessional.com/us/mkt/Alien/welcome.html, which has the second video loaded. Hey, maybe the form is available finally.

So I click the Drop Your Script Here button, and it buzzes and nothing happens. Because, apparently, the Firefox pop-up blocker is successfully blocking the pop-up that contains the form. Well, maybe my trite treatment will score me a video camera after all, but let’s examine the basic mistakes they’ve made here, shall we?

  • They left an out-of-date Web page available where early visitors, who would have bookmarked the site, would find it. Those returning consumers that interactive marketers were so fond of would have been treated to a stale page.
  • They failed to account for pop-up blockers which are turned on as a standard part of Firefox’s install.
  • They used a mailto instead of a data collection form. A mailto!

Doesn’t anybody here know how to play this game?

UPDATE:  Well, so much for my dreams.  Form submission yields, what else, JavaScript problems:

Insult to insult
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