How NOT to do Facebook AdsCampaigns: Four Points by Sheraton

While my last post on an appalling ad from ISB –How not to Advertise on Facebook’, was still fresh in my memory, I came across another interesting fiasco – this time by Sherarton. (By the way, the Indian School of Business’s iDiya ad with wrong copy is still LIVE on Facebook, and driving traffic to a page which shows closed registrations.)

See below:

ISB erroneous ad still live
ISB erroneous ad still live

Now, let’s look at how Sheraton Hotel is wasting money through a bad ad campaign for a photo contest, which is currently LIVE on Facebook. 

See for yourself:

Four Points by Sheraton - Facebook AD
Four Points by Sheraton - Facebook AD

Top Issues with the AD:

1. Weak Headline:

It just says – ‘Four points by Sheraton’. Firstly, the name of the hotel is ‘Four Points’, which is not very evident on reading the text. Secondly, it doesn’t look appealing, so it fails to attract any attention from the social media junta. And by the way, who puts an ellipsis in front of their brand name, unless there is some apparent continuity to the same in the copy? 

2. Missing Contest Info: 

If you haven’t figured it out yet, this is an ad for a Valentine’s Day contest being run by the Four Points Hotel. The biggest call to action, i.e., to participate in the contest is the least visible aspect. Not just that, the point that this is an ad for the contest is totally missing.

3. Ad Image:

Look at the image very carefully. You will realize that it shows a couple trying to paint something, which looks like a heart. Well, clearly, the artist didn’t invest any time in designing this image for Facebook, as it’s really hard to figure out what the picture is trying to convey. 

4. Ad Copy: 

Now, this is the most hilarious part. Let me ask you- Have you ever been to a 5 star hotel, which offers ‘uncomplicated convenience and thrilling offers’? What the $%^& does that even mean? Who is responsible for trying to pass off such drivel as valid copy for an ad? Clearly, this shows how disconnected the copy writer and the marketer are from the real consumer. Even if you think ‘uncomplicated convenience’ is a clever concoction of a phrasewhy on earth is a contest ad talking about that, and not about the contest itself? Unfortunately, the headline, copy, image, and call to action seem to be haphazardly put together, just for the heck of it. Also, I seriously think the call to action should be ‘Participate in Contest’, instead of ‘Like us’.  (My heart cries!)

Now for the showstopper (The Landing Page):

After clicking on this ad, you are directed to a landing page, which is actually the proper contest page. There is a big image on top, which literally says, ‘photo contest’, and I, as a user, experienced an epiphany of sorts, because I finally understood what this contest was all about.  However, let me warn you about the impending consequences – you’ll be able to feel all of your love leaving your heart, and the newly created void filling up with angry motivation- to find the responsible copywriter, and rough him up a little, or at least make him eat some pencil shavings.

See the excerpts below:

Valentine’s Day is on the way, and we can hardly wait! Lovers young and old will soon be holding hands, either lost in each other’s eyes or grinning the goofy grin of people unable to hide their happiness. Those “aww!” inspiring moments are precious, so we want you to capture them on camera and share them with us!

So what are you waiting for love birds…send us those sweetheart snaps today!

Timeline for this contest –

All entries must be in by – 2012-02-13

Voting starts at – 2012-02-06

Voting ends at – 2012-02-13

Campaign ends at – 2012-02-13

Outcome of this contest:

2 entries :D :P

All this shows that some agency has sold the idea of getting Likes on the facebook fan page and using contests to drive large number of clicks and likes and building a social media marketing campaign and presence! Seems like another hospitality brand (Sheraton) taken for an uncomplicated convenient ride by some smart a$$ social media agency / guru.

This is exactly and absolutely how not to run your facebook campaign. Now,  I am so tempted to spend my next weekend writing a blog post on how to run your facebook campaign!

Original Post here