How Much Sharing is Too Much?

There has been a blizzard of buzz around the serialized ad campaign Allstate ran (#MAYHEM) during last Thursday’s Ohio State-Alabama Sugar Bowl game.  The clever campaign attempted to educate viewers about the risks of sharing too much information on social media.  The insurer aired eight ads during the game “based on a true story” scenario about a couple who left their home for the weekend, posting pictures from the game while they were away.  In their absence, their house is “burglarized” and their stolen possessions put up for sale online.  As part of the campaign, Allstate actually set up a website and proceeded to sell household items, as a reenactment of the actual experience.

Social Media Overload

The response was overwhelming.  Allstate’s site reportedly received nearly four times the typical traffic a site receives after a TV campaign.  Twitter impressions topped 40 million, and the sale site crashed numerous times under the burden of overwhelming traffic from people trying to capitalize on the fire sale of someone else’s stolen possessions.

Missing the Forest for the Trees

Kudos to Chicago-based ad agency Leo Burnett for the wildly creative and successful marketing effort.  But, in the aftermath, it seems much of the commentary around the campaign has related to the problems with the sale site, whether the items were even actually sold, and the grumblings of angry opportunists who were unable to score a good deal.  So, I wonder how many people actually heard the original message – be careful what you share on social media.  This message is especially important for public figures, politicians, executives and their families to hear, as they have a higher likelihood of being targeted.  To avoid being the biggest loser in this game is well worth the effort.

And, if you really missed it, Ohio State won in an upset.

Your digital footprint will follow you the rest of your life.