Cheddar’s “Social Media Campaign” Is a Schoolbook Example Of What Is Wrong With Marketing

Dec 23, 2014 | Brands, Product | 0 comments

Imagine you are going to a housewarming party. You weren’t invited, but who cares. At the door you pick up a few people and tell them: “If you go inside and say that I’m the best guy you’ve ever met, I’ll give you money.”

This is what most “Social Media marketing campaigns” are all about. It’s not to contribute any value, it is selling pseudo-value. All you have to do is faking that you love the product.

Cheddar is a little list app that does exactly the same what Wunderlist, Clear and a few dozen other apps with checkmark icons do: it lets you make lists of things for you to check off. These apps have pretty much the same functionality, but Wunderkinder’s Wunderlist has been endorsed by the Apple Store, and therefore it has a lot more customers.

Clearly, Cheddar is desperate to expand its audience in order to stand up to the competition. But instead of improving their product, thus increasing value and potentially raising the desire of people to download it, they are going the quick and dirty road of marketing: buying friends.

Whether you call it a competition, sweepstake, or you actually hire a 100 kids sitting in a room in Pakistan, randomly “liking” things on Facebook they never heard of before, makes actually no difference.

If you think this is the peak of scumbag marketing, you are wrong. It gets worse. The only way Cheddar can reach people outside of their existing customer pool seems to be email. So they don’t ask people to participate in newsletters — they just go ahead and use the whole database of email addresses customers needed in order to open an account with Cheddar.

The primary principle of email marketing is called “permission marketing”, and Cheddar — like many other app makers — sees no problem in violating it, abusing customer’s trust by just using their email for marketing, no matter that they never asked for it.

Note that the sender’s address is “Cheddar Support”. You can’t make that stuff up. In short, Cheddar’s advertising campaign is a schoolbook case of destructing credibility and loyalty towards its brand and product:

  1. Systematically destroying consumer trust by abusing customer emails without permission
  2. Sliming your way into more Facebook likes, buying fake friendships by offering cheese as a reward
  3. Using an incentive that have absolutely nothing in common with the product values, it just shares the same name (which was a cheesy choice in the first place)

Who doesn’t want a wheel of cheese that will rot in your fridge before you can possibly eat it all up? I think it’s save to say at this point Cheddar LLC has squandered its integrity in the eyes of its customers.