An innovative campaign created to bridge the gap between online and real-life communities, Pepsico’s vegetable patch that launched in Chicago this summer could only be kept alive by the power of social media. Unfortunately, as an online trend, it never really got going, and soon had to be harvested after being abandoned by social media users.
As reported by The Drum, the idea, developed for Pepsico’s health juice brand Naked Juice, in partnership with charitable organisation Wholesome Wave, initially sounded like a great one. Something organic and real powered by the oft-feared world of social media? Genius!
A sprinkler system was set up to switch on and water almost 250 vegetable plants in the Chicago-based garden every time someone sent a water-related tweet to @thepowergarden. A livestream was also rigged up ti allow people to follow the garden’s progress for themselves. Add this to the fact that members of the local community could also interact with the garden by hearing for a sound that was made every time the plants were stroked via an electrical impulse, and its sounds like every modern green-lovers dream.
However, as many digital marketers know, trends tend to come and go, with social media being a fickle beast. Limited PR activity due to a $9million lawsuit against Naked Juice for allegedly using genetically modified ingredients saw only 292 tweets sent about the campaign. Facebook interactions also reached a dismal 3,364, and in the end a total of only 132 combined followers across all social media sites were racked up.
A great idea, but poorly executed, the vegetable patch was eventually harvested by local students. The fate of the garden goes to show that social media only has power if you use it consistently.
Brands that are sporadic with their online presence and don’t fully commit to a well-thought out digital marketing strategy might just end up wilting themselves.