I read a really interesting blog by a chap called Jonathan MacDonald the other day, as he discussed ‘The Fallacy of Social Media’.

What sparked his thinking was a recent video that Bodyform released as a response to a member of the public’s comment on Bodyform’s Facebook page.

At length, Jonathan discusses the validity about the video – and whether, as a creative piece, it has any real consumer engagement value – especially since the video is of an actress, purporting to be the ‘CEO of Bodyform’.

He wasn’t the only person to write about Bodyform’s video; in fact, it’s been well documented about featured in the majority of the marketing press – heralded as creative genius. In addition, many people have speculated whether the original Facebook posting (by a chap called ‘Richard’) was fake and part of the campaign.

All-in-all, Bodyform has created a great topic for discussion. On the one hand, the creative industry is congratulating them for a sweet idea – well scripted, well presented, simple and fun. The idea that the CEO of Bodyform would honestly and frankly refer to menstruation as a “crimson landslide” was certainly evocative (and honest). On the other hand, digital purists and marketers are bringing into question the manipulation of social media by brands, and whether brands using social media in such a way makes for an effective social media campaign.

For me, the ongoing use of brands of social media it comes down to two things:

1. Are brands being honest and truthful when using social media?
2. What (aside from an increase in sales) constitutes an effective social media campaign?

The essence of social media (in the context of brand interaction) is about brand loyalists sharing their views and opinions on brands/products. The issue is that many brands are still not getting the honesty factor and are still (as they’ve always done) considering ways to manipulate the social sphere. Sadly, this can be said across all digital channels, and I wonder whether we that will ever fully change.

I’ve always believed that the this arena will ultimately force brands to be honest and be true. Don’t try to manipulate it, because you’ll be found out – and your #epicfail will be shared by countless consumers, at the click of a ‘like’ or a ‘share’.

Was Bodyform’s response funny? Oh yes it was. Was it honest? Sort of. I did enjoy it – as did 3 million other viewers. Great copywriting (and delivery) and certainly along the lines of what we’ve all been thinking over the decades of watching these ludicrous happy-go-lucky-menstrual-lady-solution ads.

So what’s the answer on this occasion? Perhaps, if the ACTUAL CEO of Bodyform had replied to Richard via Facebook directly and said something similar..? Perhaps that would’ve been just as shareable – and indeed honest.

In fact, it would’ve been truthful brand interaction with a consumer, via a social media channel. Which is what it’s all about, isn’t it..?

Thanks to Martin O’Toole for sharing his thoughts and opinions in this post. the original can be seen here. Martin is CEO and co-founder of creative agency, McGrath O’Toole.

You can read more of his thoughts here, or find him here on LinkedIn