Hey! You’ve Got To Hide Your Ad Away

I was waiting for the punch-line when a friend of mine showed me this PSA…

Without getting into the legalities of who sold-out who, there’s a lot to be annoyed about here. The PSA, entitled “A Message From John Lennon,” is obviously not a message from John Lennon but rather someone who assumed that they could channel Lennon’s thoughts and voice. But its impossible to know what John Lennon would think about laptops because they weren’t even prominent by the time of his death.

To me, this brand of disingenuity seems frighteningly obvious and after reading some of the comments on YouTube I’m clearly not alone:

  • “did they know that paul is still alive?”
  • “I can’t begin to describe how negative my reaction to this ad is. Next stop: the NRA runs an ad of “Lennon” extolling the virtues of gun ownership.”
  • “It’s disgusting.”

There’s nary a positive comment to be found. Perhaps most frustrating is the the fact that One Laptop Per Child is not a bad cause at all, but now they look completely opportunistic and manipulative.

So what’s an organization to do when their campaign goes viral the wrong way?  The answer is to pay attention to what people are saying and respond accordingly (cause hey, isn’t feedback the whole point of this social media thing anyway?) Take down the ad, then follow-up with a completely new, honest, genuine approach using influential thinkers who happen to be alive.