VODAPHONE MIGHT BE regretting a cunning marketing campaign that it had targeted at Internet users in Germany.
The outfit paid for bloggers to say wonderful things about its Web 2.0 programme. The campaign, called "Generation Upload" by advertising outfit Scholz & Friends, features people known only to those who spend too much time online.
According to The Local, the advert has a daredevil who goes base-jumping while recording the adventure on his Vodafone mobile phone. It shows blogger Sascha Lobo, among other web celebrities, singing along to David Bowie's song "Heroes." It has the motto "This is your time."
However one of the bloggers has already abandoned the project. Ute Hamelmann used her personal cartoon blog to announce that she is personally withdrawing from all things Web 2.0.
Hamelmann said, "The Vodafone campaign has caused more turbulence than I expected. To do an advertisement is one thing, but if others no longer believe in me personally, then there is no point in continuing."
Vodafone admitted that there had been a vitriolic backlash in the blogosphere, which had hectored her for supporting the campaign.
Effectively it has meant that she has had to step back from her own blog and her cartoons. "We'll miss her cartoons," a spokesVodafone said.
With a typical German sense of humour, some of the nation's bloggers have dubbed Vodafone "Vodafail" for the campaign, and have been attacking anyone who supported it.
The response to the campaign has not been entirely negative, but those who hate it have been making their voices heard.
Vodaphone says it has no plans to pull the campaign and will continue to use paid bloggers to support it. µ