1. Social Media

Blockbuster has no clue when it comes to social media

by Jonathan Trenn

Blockbuster, so far, seems to be the leading user of Facebook’s Social Ads.  As previously mentioned here, they’ve been plastering David Berkowitz’s image, without his permission or prior consent, all over Facebook to hawk video rentals.  That’s a form of Usurp Marketing.

One of the people who received the ad was Ike Pigott.  Ike’s a veteran marketing and PR guy who also is one of sharper minds for online stuff as well.  Ike’s not thrilled about Social Ads either.  So he was dismayed to see this type of you know what suddenly appear on his Facebook page.  Ike also is a friend of David’s (hence his receiving of the ad).

But Ike has another story to tell. 

Last August, Ike had a terrific experience with a Blockbuster staffer, one who was kind enough and efficient enough to contact Ike soon after he left a store empty handed after hoping to rent the movie 300. Unfortunately, they didn’t have it.  On his way home, he got a call on his cell phone. Seems that someone had brought one in just after Ike had left.  That’s great customer service.  So Ike blogged about it here.  He even asked Blockbuster to respond:

The store is a Blockbuster franchisee – ID .

If you’re with Blockbuster’s PR team, and you’d like to know the
name of the employee and his ID#, please e-mail the request to ike’semail (dot) com. Also, I ask you to comment here. As quickly
as possible. I’m curious to see how often you scan, and I know positive
feedback is hard to come by.

When no one responded, he set up a metered page measuring the time that it is taking for Blockbuster to respond.  As of January 14, 2008, it’s been 155 days.  No response.

Now, to an extent, that’s OK.  In a sense, Ike is a nobody.  Just like all of us are nobodies.  We’re account numbers or the last four digits of our social security numbers.  Blockbuster, by not responding, probably hasn’t lost a customer in Ike.  But it shows me that they either have no understanding of online marketing and they haven’t invested in any type of online research.

When you add the fact that they are using usurp marketing by taking people’s images to hawk videos, it shows me that they’ve made the decision to aggressively market online.  So it’s not as if they don’t have a strategy at all.  And now they apparently think that Ike is indeed a somebody because they want him to rent videos since they told him that David is a fan of Blockbuster.  Therefore Ike should rent "Jackass".

For a company like Blockbuster – on that could get creamed by services like Netflix – to not seek to engage people on line that are talking positively about them, is a sign of a company that is headed for that proverbial iceberg.  Simply hiring someone – or having their PR firm provide to them – a daily or weekly report of what is being said about them online is not only common sense, it’s vital for a company like Blockbuster.

If they had any understanding of the digital arena, they would have responded to Ike’s post and developed a deeper relationship with him.  And they would have rewarded the very competent employee that they seemed to have overlooked.  Instead they’re pushing foolish ads his way. 



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Comments to: Blockbuster has no clue when it comes to social media
  • Avatar
    January 25, 2008

    I just got “Beaconed” (totally screwed) by Facebook and Blockbuster, when they posted my entire recent queue order on my Facebook profile, WITHOUT my permission. I am really furious. I never gave a soul at either company the go-ahead to place personal ordering info on my profile. Now the whole world knows I orderd the entire first season of Hawaii 5-O. Jeez…


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