Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bank of America fails at social media.

As a thunderstorm pounds away this morning, I have to admit that I've not been to my Flickr account in sometime. I mostly share pictures on Facebook these days and Flickr was really not about business for me. Sure there are a few shots of business stuff, like travel. That said, it certainly wasn't designed to be a component of any particular event, just a visual representation of activities in my life and that of my family.

I frankly haven't had the time to express my passion for amateur photography lately. You know, the kind of shots you take early on a weekend morning when the lighting is just right and you have no other place to be at that moment in time.

That said, I was looking at how brands are using Flickr. I came across some interesting groups, one that struck me as orphaned was the Bank of America photostream. When you dig deeper you see that they've started a promotion to coincide with the Beijing Olympics called It's clear this is about getting people to sign-up for a high-interest Visa to support the team.

Now at first glance, one could argue that this is maybe a decent idea to many mainstream corporate types. Unfortunately from my perspective this needs to be chalked up as a miss. A clear lack of commitment and understanding, even down to the Flickr profile thumbnail icon being blank.

Here's where I think they're going wrong.

  1. Clear lack of commitment overall - Their photostream is left for weeks at a time...the Olympics are just around the corner are they not? More activity, engagement and discussion is needed as part of a larger strategy online. This still feels like a big bank going "here you go little minions, have fun..." at least to me.
  2. Who are the Bank of America customers brand evangelists online and are they involved in the campaign? It doesn't appear so to me.
  3. Sure people are cheering for the U.S. team, but does anybody really "love" the Bank of America?
This is more about B-o-A pushing as a faceless corporation. The real human aspect of this frankly is the profile of the group's contact. Photo's of a happy family, NOT a faceless corporation allowed me to feel positive about something related to this discussion and it had little to do with the bank...that's the richness that the campaign is lacking in my opinion.

I believe Bank of America could have went further with a more complete overall strategy...that said it's probably a good thing they didn't since this small effort is dismal at best. Oh well, another case study to use and teach others with...

1 comment: said...

Thank you for your feedback. Please visit the real America’s Cheer Flickr page at