Nike’s video on Facebook – Is Nike cheating? I say yes!
I picked up a tweet from Jean-Philippe (JP) Maheu, CEO of Publicis Modem, about a great execution by Nike on a Facebook video. I have a lot of respect for JP, having followed his career and hearing him speak several times, most recently at the last Kellogg School of Management Marketing Conference.
So, I naturally hit his link to the video to see how good this execution was. I was instantly Shocked, however, to discover that the only way I could view this video was to FIRST click “LIKE” on the FB Fan Page. Let me make this perfectly clear.
Nike made me commit to Liking their video BEFORE they let me see it.
So… I clicked “Like” and then was permitted to watch the video. To Nike’s credit – it was a beautiful execution. Once of the best I have ever seen. A lot of time, thought and money went into creating this stellar “mini movie” and it is well worth the watch. That being said, I would have certainly appreciated the option of clicking “Like” after I had a chance to view the movie.
What makes this even worse is the way Facebook auto-broadcasts your feelings to the world. So my forced “Liking” of the Nike video was broadcast to all my friends. Of course the folks at Nike knew this would happen – that’s why they did it. They’re not stupid. Maybe a little shady, but not stupid.
This is a classic example of a big company smoking the social media bong and getting high on the power of the medium. They then go out and break the rules like a bunch of underage kids taking their dad’s car out for a spin, hoping they don’t get busted by the cops.
Nike, consider yourselves Busted.
UPDATE: MAY 24, 2010
When I originally wrote this blog, I was under the impression that the “Like” was related specifically to the video…much because the video instructs you to click on “Like” in order to watch it. The Like button actually is a standard Page feature found commonly around Facebook.
How does this change my outlook? Well, it does change it a bit. Had I realized this, I could have surfed around the Nike page a bit, determined if I Liked the page and then decided if I liked it enough to click on Like and see their video. So, instead of Nike cheating, I would say they are actually being foolish. They are actually deterring people from watching the video that they spent thousands to produce, as Wassan commented below – she would have just skipped the video and not clicked “Like”. It reminds me a little of the blog post I wrote about a company who wanted me to fill out a huge form in order to watch their commercial.
There is another piece, however, that is more shady. Nike is not very forthcoming about what clicking “Like” does. According to Paul Adams who commented on this blog, my clicking on Like now gives Nike the ability to push stuff through my News Feed. Not sure if this is Nike being shady or Facebook privacy / security being poor… or both.
So…. I change my original position. Nike is not Cheating, but they’re on the line.
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