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New Social Media Trend - The Apology YouTube Video

Written by Simply Zesty on

toyota-logoI have been noticing a new trend over the last year where companies use social media

and in particular Youtube to apologize to their customers and as a key tool in crisis management. The latest example was the video below from Toyota commercial director Jon Williams explaining just how sorry he was about all the drama they have been having over the last couple of weeks with recalls of their cars. The interesting thing is that because people think that this type of communication is so innovative and exciting some of the blame around the incident itself is actually removed. It is almost a case of "ah look at them getting their CEO on Youtube, how forward thinking of them".

It's Just media

There is no doubting that it is smart to get an interview up on Youtube but truth be told it is just another stop on the circle of interviews that Jon Williams will be doing. The fact that it is on Youtube is interesting but this will quickly become the norm and lose it's magic dust as a small PR win while facing a wave of critisism on other fronts. Lots of us consume our media online now rather than through televisions so there really isn't anything new or unique about this, they are simply delivering the message through a new channel.

It Lasts Forever

The good thing about this sort of coverage is unlike television this clip should be around forever (perhaps when the fuss has died down it may not seem like a good idea to leave a Toyota executive grovelling up on Youtube but that is another discussion) and it can be embedded on blogs like this, liked on Facebook, subscribed to on Youtube and generally pushed around online so there is extra power in the message

It's Not That Big A Deal

I don't drive a Toyota, I don't even drive a car so this type of story really holds no interest to me. If I saw him speaking on the news I would switch it over immediately but the fact that it is online and a great example of social media crisis management I have picked up on it. Amazingly I think if you questioned me in great detail I would probably have a more positive view on the Toyota brand than I did 10 days ago (I guess I wouldn't if I owned one of their cars). This sort of stuff is new and will be exciting for a while but as soon as all companies start using YouTube like this and these things become more of the norm the novelty will ware off and the PR effect will diminish with only directly affected customers wanting to hear some remorse from the company.

Some Other Examples

There have been a few other examples in the last six months of Youtube being used by social media savvy companies and corporations. Here are a couple of other examples that you may have noticed yourself...

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