Brands execute their social media campaigns and other marketing actions via social media, at full speed. While some of the brands develop applications with a simple mechanism, some of them focus on games to promote their brands. These campaigns are usually either based on performance or random drawings. Every day, a fresh campaign reaches out to users. They appear on your Facebook newsfeed, or on your Twitter flow, etc. Not everybody is expected to show an interest. However, there’s a user group that never fails to notice: The Campaign Mice
Human beings are indeed interesting creatures. Whenever a new ecosystem manifests itself, adaptation starts to rise and create new identities. As so, campaign mice have a similar reality. Well, how does the profile look like of this community?
"Campaign Mouse Profile"
Throughout the previous years, we tried to put together a profile with the data received from our past marketing operations. Results were exciting, and we wanted to share with you. Here is the frame:
Age interval of the user profile is between 18 and 30. Women are the majority, and most of them are mainly married housewives
with children. These women are looking for a way to somehow occupy their spare time at home. Also, contributing to household fees is one of the most prior motivations. By participating in promotions, they both win various prizes (electronic devices, gift cards, vacations, services etc.) and contribute the home-based-economy at the same time.
Students also play an essential role in the campaign mouse community. Most notably, university students indicate a marvellous attraction to the campaigns targeting the young audience. Contrary to the working class, their time is much more flexible and diverse. Moreover, being tech-savvy, helps them to have a better understanding of campaign flows and to draw a more active event profile. So, their motivation to win the prize is quite high.
The audience often doesn’t use their real identity. A high percentage of Facebook accounts are fake and used only for campaign enrollments. Participants share their real ID only via an application form. To increase the chance of victory, mostly they apply more than once with other names that are usually their friends and family.
Communication Among Campaign Mice
These groups follow nearly all the promotions and performance-based activities are their favourites. So, the winning chance is higher. And needless to say, they don’t miss the random drawing promotions as well. However, since the result depends on the luck factor in this case, we cannot say it’s their first choice of preference. In a world filled with so many social media actions, one might wonder how they stay up to date. The answer is simple: they have their own forums.
They use these forums as a communication platform. Any user who encounters with a promotion campaign shares the latest news with the community. They carry out their internal communications through this channel. They share the details and winning strategies. Also, they constitute various groups among themselves to choose a candidate for the prize and support him/her. Thus they create a community under the winning motivation. They move collectively and support the candidate in every way.
General Attitudes and Behaviour
Campaign mice don’t accept new participants in their group comfortably. After all, the more the headcount the less the share. They come into conflict with each other at times. They don’t stand back to make an example of those who break the rules of the fraternity or withhold their support.
They don’t abstain from communicating with the brand in campaigns. If they feel that they’ve been mistreated, they move collectively and try to suppress the brand. The effort which they spend on the brand activities, they call it “exertion”. Exertion means the time they’ve spent in the application. For instance, spending one hour of time on a game is considered as exertion. These people believe that the brands owe them after they have spent enough time in marketing campaign applications. In other words, “a right” grows up there. They try to protect this right in every way possible. They remind the brand of the campaign terms and send informative messages to other users. They even take it a step further, manipulating the injustice and go to war with the brand over this. They try to place the brand in a critical position and legitimate the achievement with thoughtful messages.
The Ends Justify the Means: Cheaters on the Go!
Some people feel free to wangle. In performance-based applications, they put in the effort to go to the end by stretching the rules and legitimising unfair competition instead of using the app. That varies by the type of the application. Especially they try to intervene by using various cheating engines. Sometimes they succeed. In these cases, the campaign mouse who owns this ability and the one who does not fall out with each other. The brand is in a real fix in this type of cases.
Threatening the brand is one of the most common cases. Stating not to buy or use the product, criticising the image actions that constitute the brand’s upper identity, humiliating the brand, are the most occurring communication actions. But the most meaningful expression which ties the brand’s hands is: You don’t have my blessing!
The campaign mouse “doesn’t give his blessing” which he has earned through “effort” and is his natural “right”, at “that” moment when he’s exhausted, and he doesn’t like the situation. The brand falls into a feeling of emptiness about whether to take this claim seriously or not. The effort to understand is turning into a type of energy-consuming business.
Good and Bad Publicity: Motivation of the Brands
It becomes somehow strange, looking from the viewpoint of the brand. Motivation is definite: Mix the product/service with entertainment, garnish it with a prize and make the promotion. But the campaign mice throw a monkey wrench in the works. Initially, the application pages seem to increase social interaction rates, but over time the management of this community is beginning to require a serious effort. It turns into a crisis if not managed accurately. Therefore the alarm bells start to ring in the brand building. Comments are coming one after another: “How did we come up with this business?” “How can we satisfy these people?” “Did our brand image get damaged?” “We will never again get into this kind of business without using so-and-so system” etc. Brand wants to break away from this platform but also can’t deny its existence. Paradox!
Another question is the subject that whether the communication is carried out with the desired audience or not in such campaigns. Although the campaign mice adapt some campaign profiles directly, they foul up the communication. Even if they create density in the channel and improve the statistical data, they decrease the quality of the conversation. They come between the target audience and the brand with manipulating the agenda with their facts. And they are quite successful at this job.
You know what they say: “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” That may be true from a perspective, but quality in communication is a quality we seek. So, how you make yourself heard is not considered to be important, but it is quite significant what you say and where it reaches. If we ask for McLuhan’s advice, the prospect of how you say will be more noticeable.
Did Someone Talk About Morality?
In my opinion, it’s an ethic problem all by itself. Our social contract has quite stretched with the border perception of the digital world. Even though the campaign mice seem like they have some ethic values derived from their communities, the ethical codes are unclear in intergroup communications.
The identities that people associate with the digital world and the personal freedom limits of these identities are also a crucial question. Maybe it would be better not to overlook the fundamental humanitarian values. Being able to cheat and having the technical information doesn’t mean you have to cheat. Being branded as a cheater in a real environment (where people come face to face) is far more effective than in the digital world. But in this platform, you can close your account and destroy this stamp with a new identity in 30 seconds. If having this power is enough to create your own rules, how will the community reach consensus? I think nobody has a solid answer for it.
With a Marxist approach, it’s safe to say that economic considerations are at the heart of our social movement. Nevertheless, trying every way to win can’t be legitimate with this approach. It is important to remember that when collective actions are based on individual motivations, then chaos is inevitable.
Brands can’t deny the campaign mice. Their existence has demonstrated themselves. Nevertheless, stopping the communication on social platforms or abstaining from this is not a solution. We have to find a way and manage the processes. It’s not easy work, but not as hard as you might think. Working with a professional or company would be a rational solution.
Campaigners need to learn to respect for a while consuming these content that brands offer, whatever their motivations are. There is a point to remember: The teams that produce this content are made up of real persons, and how much time the campaign mice have spent on this called “exertion” is equal to the teams’ effort on this. One day the teams can use their right to talk and yell: You don’t have our blessing!
Then what will happen?