Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sharing Some Good

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On my way to work this morning I heard a somewhat labored and not fully fleshed-out radio ad in which the narrator implores the listeners to "share the good." He makes a vague reference to cleaning up garbage by the docks, sharing a beer and basically "doing your part." He mentions Heineken. He mentions a URL, "Sharethegood.com." And I'm thinking, "Please God, No! Not another SunChips-styled attempt to turn a product into a religion. The bottle is already green. What more do you want? Besides Rolling Rock, you're the Green Beer!"

So the first thing I do when I get to work is go to sharethegood.com. "Coming Soon" from register.com. is all there is right now. Who Is reveals it's registered to Brian Citron of New York City. He registered it on February 12 of this year. A quick Google search reveals Brian is Associate Brand Manager for Heineken, USA. (Firefox and IE will show it as unavailable. Safari reveals the register.com registration.) Here's a picture I found of Brian from The New York Times when his marriage was announced in 2005. Congratulations, by the way, sir.

Brian: Since you haven't yet launched the site but you're running radio for a site that isn't ready, you're now going to have to buy more radio when the site eventually goes live. Let's hope in the interim you can think through this "Share The Good" concept and not fall flat on your face as one more brand executing another self-satisfied half-stab at making the world a better place through [beer, chips, toilet paper, dog food, tampons, shoes, etc.] I truly hope the Heineken effort is different from what we've been treated to so far by other brands.

I'm sure it's one of those cases where airtime was bought based on something the web team promised. Then some snags were hit on the development side and the radio stations (Clear Channel) said "Screw you. Contract's signed. We've already scheduled the spots!" (And they chuckled under their breath, saying, "It's Heineken, They can afford it.") So the AE was all, "C'mon, Web Team. You're totally screwing me here!" And the Web Team was like, "Dude, it's not our fault! The servers in White Plans were supposed to propagate the domain nationally by 7AM Tuesday. That's what they promised! I'll show you the email!" And there were late nights of scrambling and iPhones were buzzing as they tried to finish in time for the spots to air. But the spots aired before the site was ready and someone's passing the buck right now and someone else is eating crap. Hopefully it all gets worked out soon. I'd like the chance to see what this new Heineken religion is all about.

Maybe it's just the interactive agency not communicating effectively with the traditional agency.

Or maybe it's simply a case of my local Clear Channel station playing a spot before it was supposed to be played.

Whatever, I'd be interested to hear from Brian Citron if he finds this. When is the new site coming, Brian? What's the plan? How can I help?

(And I'm available to help with your marketing efforts in exchange for massive shipments of beer. I will also require a walk-in cooler installed in my garage.)

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