My friend Guy sent me this link to Captain Morgan Rum’s blog. I don’t know the brand (I don’t think they sell in Europe) but it looks like an easy sell for an ad agency: the brand has character, speaks its mind and a blog would be the perfect setting to “create a community of interest around the brand values to generate positive WOM”.
What amused me most is not the blog per say, it’s pretty dull but the string of conversations about this blog complaining how lame it is.
I think it is less bad that the Mazda experiment as at least it allows for comments, and there are regular postings. Although there are some speculations on how such new blog got so many comments so quickly. Gus thinks that Captain Morgan should thank the agency’s “assistants, interns, secretaries, college students, elance or maybe just one guy/gal with a strong pot of coffee and a really wild imagination.” I would agree with that.
Noah Brier comments that it’s not a blog as it has no RSS feed. It’s an interesting point. I read this survey from Blogads who polled over 30,000 bloggers and found that 72% of respondents never read blogs through RSS.
The lack of RSS didn’t bother me too much but I was irritated by three things:
- The Captain do not reply to comments on his blog. This is hardly surprising. Ad agencies are so used to shout loud about products that they became death and as such can’t hear what customers say anymore. I would think that DM and PR agencies do a better job at sustaining dialogs.
- To post a comment, you have to register and provide too many details. It’s like opening the floodgate to a tide of unwanted junk mails. The incentive to provide my home address needs to be stronger than a post on a blog.
- When you post a comment, you get a nice message saying: “Comment Posted! Since I'm busy with the Blog AND maintaining a full-time party schedule, your posting might not show up right away. So, cut me some slack and have a little patience... - The Captain”. That’s a nice way to say: wait until our moderator wakes up and he will see whether your comments are flattering enough to be included”. That’s lame.
So should Captain Morgan walk the plank? If you take it as a commercial blog and therefore have very low expectations, it is not too bad in its category. But ultimately time will decide. When the ad agency’s interns will cease to be incentivised to keep it alive, it will be up to the good decent Internet people to judge. The ones who don’t bother giving up their home address so they can have a discussion with a bottle of rum.