One of the sad things about freelancing is that you always have to curry favour. You never know which of your clients might recommend you to their mate, dad or boyfriend, if you stay on their good side. Which usually means that I’m reluctant to write about my clients – even the craziest ones – out of paranoia that they will read this and be offended. And this is a tragedy, because there are so many excellent stories I could tell you, friends.
But last week I had a project so deliciously funny that I cannot stand to keep it to myself.
I was given the job of proofreading a social media strategy document for a well-known and reputable car manufacturer. And boy, what a read. These strategies were the sublime, Platonically perfect pinnacle of social media wank – pardon my French. An intense culmination of what happens when people in their late twenties get together, hoover up a few lines off the glass conference table and brainstorm ways to ‘go viral’. To create ‘snackable content’ which will ‘resonate emotionally’ on those most emotionally pallid platforms like Snapchat and Twitter.
I can’t tell you which car company this was, for obvious reasons. I can’t even tell you what the ideas were in this document, because that will spoil it all later when these things start to dribble out into the social media marshes. So I think the best and only thing I can do is use that material as inspiration to write a bunch of car-selling social media strategies of my own. Here goes:
Idea: Car Curry Days. ‘Car’ and ‘curry’ are words which sound quite similar.
Execution: We take a range of shots of different cars submerged in different types of curry. Each curry matches the colour of the paint-job of the car. The target demographics are encouraged to share their own photos of curry smeared on their cars.
Idea: Car-entine’s Day. Celebrate Valentine’s Day – with your car!
Execution: A viral collection of photos of cars smashing together bumper to bumper so it looks like they’re kissing. Photoshop out the shrapnel, photoshop in some love-heart emojis. Maybe make it an animated GIF that people can send to their loved ones?
Idea: Cars with wigs. What if cars could wear wigs? Hilarious!!
Execution: We inspire the target demographic with pictures of cars wearing wigs. Then we hold a competition to win a car-sized wig for your car. Lol so random!
Idea: Commemorating International Environment Day.
Execution: We encourage people on Facebook and Twitter to use their cars to drive to the recycling plant, drive to a tree-planting ceremony or drive to something else green like maybe a donkey sanctuary or something. Tweet your green driving day with the hashtag #greenItYourWay!
Idea: Which car part are you?
Execution: Using online polls on Twitter, Facebook etc, people can answer quiz questions to find out which car part they are? Are you a fan belt, a windscreen wiper, or maybe you’re a bit of a clutch! Share your results with your friends!
Idea: Celebrating great figures of history whose names sound a bit like ‘car’! Car-tin Luther King, Car-ie Curie, Thomas Car-dy…er…Car-t Simpson…
Execution: We pay tribute to these great figures with a tasteful greyscale photo of the person, tastefully overlaid with our logo. We ask the target demographic to tweet us their own favourite historical personalities which remind them of cars. But only cars by our company.
Idea: Viral car vines!
Execution: We publish hilarious vines of cars covered in actual vines (i.e. grape) with the hashtag #DamnYourCarLooksVine.
Idea: Texting and driving awareness campaign
Execution: Using your phone while driving is a huge and dangerous problem, which people need to be made aware of. We post thought-provoking, tasteful snackable content to raise awareness of this issue, making sure to hit all the big social media channels as well as possibly sending spontaneous texts to people’s mobiles or contacting them via automated calls, or even just ported straight through to the GPS screen of the cars themselves.