Bodyform Takes ‘Richard’ to Social Media School

There is an overwhelming amount of advice out there from self-proclaimed “gurus” and experts concerning the ways in which brands, people and products should leverage social media. Despite all of the maxims regarding strengthening engagement, building community and spreading awareness, the best place to look for social media lessons is within campaigns and strategies that have actually worked.

With that in mind, we had to acknowledge Bodyform’s response to a humorous and cheeky post written on their Facebook page by a guy named Richard.

Richard questioned the veracity of commercials touting the comfort of Bodyform’s Maxipad, claiming that the ads made him feel “… a little jealous. I mean biking, rollercoasters, dancing, parachuting. Why couldn’t I get to enjoy this time of joy and ‘blue water’ and wings!! Dam my penis!!”

Despite Richard’s deftness with words and acute wit, he was no match for Bodyform’s honest, incisive and hilarious comeback.

As the human race continues to evolve, we will increasingly treat every person from every race, gender or creed as equals–as we should. But as Richard learns in this video smackdown, the menstrual cycle is the one thing that will always belong exclusively to women.

Dude, really?

Richard seemed to think that humor could disarm the tension that arises every time a man so much as mentions this biological event, but he was wrong. Big time. It’s like when people with pets compare raising a dog to a struggling  kindergartener, quipping “I find a martini helps me cope.” Shut up. You don’t know what you’re talking about, and you never will.

Nevertheless, Bodyform didn’t take on Richard’s Facebook post by being combative. They ran with it all the way to social media’s greatest trophy: viral video status. The fact that the video got so big gives us pause as we wonder who, exactly, Richard might be. We know, for example, that an actress plays CEO Caroline Williams in the spot.

Was the whole escapade contrived? Does it even matter?

The power of anything viral comes from its newness: the welcome novelty, the unsuspected hilarity, the shocking revelation. But it wears off–Even “Gangnam Style” can’t be cool forever. Want proof? Play “Call Me Maybe” at your next happy hour and see what happens. But for now, Bodyform scored a big win and attracted the attention of a hungry blogosphere.

And that’s using social media effectively. Period.

Publish date: October 16, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT