Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Digital Marketing? No thanks, we're Girl Scouts

Apparently this kid is pretty famous in the US at the moment but, to be honest, today was the first time I heard the story.

Wild Freeborn, a good upstanding Girl Scout, set her sights on selling a huge amount of GS Cookies (as they do across the waters) Her mission was to sell 12,000 boxes of them. Yup, 12,000! Being the good dad that he is, her father decided she may need a little help and decided it was time to get digital.

He went about it by creating a YouTube ad and a coordinating online order form. Simple idea really, but aren't the best ones always just that. Guess what - it was a success. Orders started flowing in. Happy days for all concerned. Only it wasn't. The Girl Scouts of the USA forced the the campaign to a close, saying that it was against Girl Scout rules. Don't get me wrong, I don't advocate breaking rules ;) but let's be serious here. Why would you stop someone selling cookies that directly benefits your organisation by doing what you asked them to do - sell cookies.

Spokeswoman for the group, Denise Pesich, said, “We want to make sure that whatever the girl is doing is integrated into the program that she’s studying, we want to make sure we are in the development stages of a technological platform that will integrate it and be fair and equitable for all girls. But more importantly, it’s girl safety at its core.”

So what's the big deal? Her dad helped her and was main point of contact on all electronic and non-electronic touchpoints, no one could directly contact her (scary child preditors etc.) and she was learning about both technology and mass marketing. I really thing the Girl Scouts need to re-evaluate their rules.

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