Keep your puddle dry
What's the business benefit of 584,000 people watching a live broadcast of a puddle? I splashed around in the Drummond Puddle last week, did you?
The #DrummondPuddleWatch Periscope broadcast of a large puddle in Newcastle was a live social media event by creative agency Drummond.
A soap opera played out in front of the audience as punters danced around in an attempt to cross the water.
The livestream had a total of 548,000 viewers and 70,000 live viewers at its peak. It trended on twitter in the UK and worldwide.
There's no doubt that the numbers are impressive. Numerous brands jumped on the trending topic and shared realtime content. Traditional media was all over the story.
But headlines such as bdaily's #DrummondPuddleWatch: The best piece of PR/marketing the North East has ever seen? misses the point of social media.
A one off social media stunt doesn't compare with the hard work of local authorities and hospitals; brands such as Barbour and Greggs; and cultural destinations such as the Angel or Sage Gateshead.
What's the return on investment of a puddle?
The Drummond puddle was a creative, original idea that responded to the floods in northern England in a humorous British way.
Agencies, my own included, try to make content go viral organically every day. The Internet is littered with failed attempts.
You couldn't have planned the success of #DrummondPuddleWatch without spending a lot of money on promotion. The fact is that sometimes silly shit goes viral.
The Drummond puddle wasn't the high water of social media marketing. It's the latest social media sensation since the last one.
Nice work Drummond but what's the outcome without a sustained campaign to build your brand as a hot agency and generate business?
Social media stunts are fun but we're not going to be able to get away with this for much longer.
Our bosses and clients want to know about the business benefit and return on investment.