With ANZAC day just over a week away, Woolworth’s has found itself in an uncomfortable predicament. In an attempt to commemorate the upcoming centenary of ANZAC day, Woolworth’s commissioned Carrspace, an experiential marketing agency to create a campaign that would capture the ANZAC spirt and align it with the Woolworth’s brand.
What was delivered was a flawed concept that the Internet captured and transformed into a meme. The concept provided by Carrspace was a website that enabled users to upload images of their loved ones who have fought in wars, with stylised watermarked text that read “Least we forget ANZAC 1915-2015 Fresh In Our Memories Woolworths”. Users had the option of uploading any image they desired and then sharing via social media accounts.
The original call to action
This was the problem. It did not take long for users to start uploading other imagery, often associated with memes such as Grumpy Cat and the Fresh Price of Bell Air.
A meme version featuring Grumpy Cat
A meme version featuring the Fresh Prince of Bell-Air
While Woolworths is currently reeling from the reputational damaged caused by this campaign, the agency Carrspace has also found itself in the spotlight with memes directly making fun of the agency and its lack of strategic direction.
This campaign is yet another example of where a lack of strategy created poor outcomes. There were no discernible metrics and no effective assessment of the perception that would be created through attaching the Woolworths tagline to Anzac memories.
With the right strategy, marketing can be measured. Had Carrspace taken a strategic approach, it would have been able to assess the risks of the campaign and determine if it was viable. Carrspace is an experiential marketing agency that delivers campaigns to its clients through creative tactics. It is not a provider of strategic marketing services. This is a clear example of a campaign that appeared to have no discernible outcome, yet has caused potential risk to both the agency and the client.
Ultimately #freshinourmemories is an example of a retailer utilising an agency that focuses on tactics before thinking about the strategy and their strategic direction. Unfortunately such outcomes tarnish the wider perception of marketing and once again erode the fact that a sound marketing methodology would have fully understood the potential risks around such a campaign.