- Even When You Aren't Listening, People AreTalking About You
- Missing Out on Opportunities to Converse
- User-Generated Content and Media Give More Control to the Consumer
Missing Out on Opportunities to Converse
AT&T has a great line of commercials that show people in precarious situations that they could've avoided if they'd subscribed to AT&T's service and gotten an important call. My favorite of these is the "Techno Twins" commercial—and based on the 1,000-plus comments and more than 3,000 saves to Favorites on YouTube in less than a year, I'm apparently not alone (see Figure 6.1).
Figure 6.1 AT&T Techno Twins Video on YouTube.
Although the positive takeaway from this is that AT&T finally put the videos online (these commercials were not on AT&T's account when the commercials first started appearing on video-sharing sites), the company is missing out on a conversation. AT&T also is missing out on a prime opportunity to promote these clever commercials on their website, or even lead people to view them via their YouTube accounts on their website. As you can see in Figure 6.2, there's no obvious way to find the commercials by going directly through the AT&T home page.
Figure 6.2 The AT&T home page doesn't link directly to the commercials that are creating buzz about AT&T.
These commercials and subsequent videos on YouTube get people talking. The comments might not be directly related to AT&T's products or its wireless service, but they're still a vehicle to start a conversation with the more serious commenters.
Now imagine if AT&T had these commercials on their website and allowed their actual customers and audience members who are more directly interested in their products and services to comment on these videos. Can you imagine the kind of feedback they could get and what they could learn? Talk about missing out on insightful conversations! People are also embedding this video in blog posts and linking to it. This particular video also has seven video responses, plus homemade spoofs of the video. All the videos in the series, which are now viewable videos on YouTube, are conversation starters.
I don't say that AT&T needs to start the conversation, because that's what these clever videos do. Although they make you laugh, because you wouldn't want to be caught in this situation, they also make you think. AT&T could be asking, "Have you ever been stuck like this with your own version of the Techno Twins? Tell us your story!"
So much opportunity exists here for active engagement, from conversing with the company's own "built-in audience"—customers that come to the AT&T website to pay their bills or learn about services—to capitalizing on the spoof videos and video responses posted on the commercial housed on YouTube. Unfortunately, this also shows AT&T that the conversation about these commercials and AT&T is going on without the company's active involvement.