Nowadays, companies and brands are wide open to criticism and comments from anyone with an Internet connection. With the dramatic rise of social media, there is no place to hide. Brands and companies needs to deal with such negative criticism and comments in an open, yet transparent way. The worse thing any brand or company can do is to not respond to such comments or try to cover them up with deceptive tactics such as fake replies, negative SEO, paid reviews etc.
Granted, some comments are always going to malicious and spam, but others are genuine and will go viral. This happened to Bodyform when a Facebook commenter, Richard Neill made a humorous rant that questioned the advertising myths in relation to periods:
Hi , as a man I must ask why you have lied to us for all these years . As a child I watched your advertisements with interest as to how at this wonderful time of the month that the female gets to enjoy so many things ,I felt a little jealous. I mean bike riding , rollercoasters, dancing, parachuting, why couldn’t I get to enjoy this time of joy and ‘blue water’ and wings !! Dam my penis!! Then I got a girlfriend, was so happy and couldn’t wait for this joyous adventurous time of the month to happen …..you lied !! There was no joy , no extreme sports , no blue water spilling over wings and no rocking soundtrack oh no no no. Instead I had to fight against every male urge I had to resist screaming wooaaahhhhh bodddyyyyyyfooorrrmmm bodyformed for youuuuuuu as my lady changed from the loving , gentle, normal skin coloured lady to the little girl from the exorcist with added venom and extra 360 degree head spin. Thanks for setting me up for a fall bodyform , you crafty bugger
Richard’s rant went viral and attracted thousands like of likes and comments with days. Although it was said light heatedly, the comment is clearly something that doesn’t reflect too well on the Bodyform brand. The PR people at Bodyform quickly came up, which what I think is a near perfect response, bordering on genius.
To respond to Richard, Bodyform posted tongue in cheek, humerous video repsonse. It opened with the CEO of Bodyform (played by an actress) addressing Richard directly:
Hello Richard. We read your Facebook post with interest, but also a sense of foreboding – and I think it’s time we came clean. We lied to you, Richard. And I want to say sorry.
I’d advise anyone watch the full video, which has notched up thousands of views already. The response exposed the human side of the business and only improved their brand image going forward. Huge kudos to Bodyform for firstly replying – which is arguably the most important part – respond! The response clearly demonstrates that Bodyform understand their audience and how interacting by social media is now essential. As a company, if you’re not doing it then you should start!
If you need an example of how to respond to negative criticism online use Bodyform’s video response to Richard as a model.