Toyota Drop the Ball with Super Bowl Twitter Spam
Toyota have long been in the vanguard of companies that know what they're doing. Their much vaunted Toyota Way was damaged last year after safety concerns were raised about their cars.
They have now dropped the ball over a fudged Super Bowl advert over the weekend. The Japanese company took a novel approach to advertising during the biggest event in the football calendar. Sadly for them it kinda blew up in their face.
Toyota used Twitter to advertise their new Camry range by offering followers the chance to win one of the new cars. So far so good. The @CamryEffect account replied to users using Super Bowl related hashtags promoting the special offer.
This is getting a little bit spammy but is not 'that' bad. Toyota didn't stop there however. In addition to the main @CamryEffect account, they also setup accounts @CamryEffect1, @CamryEffect2 and so on. By having so many accounts available, it allowed the company to bombard everyone wishing to tweet about the game with offers for the new car.
Users were sent the same tweets over and over again, to the extent that many started complaining to Twitter, who pretty much ignored the complaints. The negative feedback made its way back to Toyota however who deleted the duplicate accounts and have made the main account private.
Toyota apologized for the spam campaign via a statement:
"We apologize to anyone in the Twitterverse who received an unwanted @reply over the past few days. We were excited to share the message of our Camry Effect campaign in a new way and it was never our intention to displease anyone. We’ve certainly learned from this experience and have suspended the accounts effective immediately to avoid any additional issues. Kimberley Gardiner, National Digital Marketing & Social Media Manager, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc."
Earlier this year the University of Santa Barbara released research into the problem of crowdturfing, ie the creation of multiple accounts to inflate the social appeal of a companies presence on social media.
It would seem the good folks at Toyota didn't get the memo.