Without fail, if we’re not fast forwarding through the ads my wife and I are racing to grab the remote to mute the damn things. This morning we were discussing whether the broadcaster can measure how often ads are muted. If they knew perhaps Emily from 2 Cheap Autos would have been muzzled a long time ago.
While I wouldn’t call these sorts of ads spam, I do call them noise and visual pollution. Fortunately, unlike spam, we have the power to turn them off.
Earlier in the week New Zealand agency of the year, DDB, ran a Twitter campaign (#commandtheunsullied) for Sky TV that saw Tweeps bombarded with thousands of unsolicited messages from Twitterbots. Unlike the wife and me with the remote, these people were almost powerless to stop them. Before we get into the specifics of the campaign, how do we define spam?
To promote Game of Thrones, DDB ran a Twitter campaign. Using #commandtheunsullied, users recruited 2000 of GoT's most loyal warriors, the Unsullied (Twitterbots in disguise) to tweet anyone they like. 2000 bots, tweeting one person = 2000 messages flooding their newsfeed.
The video below explains it much better that we just did. Maybe that's how DDB got this across the line, confuse and DAZZLE the client!
What is a Twitterbot you ask?
This from Wikipedia Twitterbots come in various forms. For example, many serve as spam, enticing clicks on promotional links.
What about Twitter? They identify victims of spam as users that have followed and/or unfollowed large amounts of accounts in a short time period, particularly by automated means (aggressive following or follower churn).
Interestingly, DDB checked with Twitter who said they were onboard with the use of Twitterbots for this campaign. While they own the platform, Twitter are not the arbiters of what a user will and should receive. They have a responsibility to protect users and perhaps should have been more discriminating in this instance.
While the idea is clever and from a GoT brand perspective ticks all the boxes, it can be classified as spam and the response from users suggest this is a valid claim.
A war has been waged between 2000 Unsullied and thousands more Unimpressed. Who will win? Tune in next week!