EXCLUSIVE: “Despite Naked’s survey, their Witchery campaign was a social media failure”

A social media monitoring service will tomorrow issue a report labelling Naked Communications’ hoax girl-with-the-jacket video a viral failure.  

Mumbrella can reveal that Australian-based Streamwall will publish statistics that question a Naked-commissioned survey which the agency said showed their controversial campaign was a social media success.

Naked divided marketing commentators when it created the stunt, in which an actress pretended she was trying to find the man of her dreams who she had met in a cafe. But suspicions were quickly raised that her attempts to return the man’s jacket were a publicity exercise for clothing brand Witchery.

Mumbrella understands that Streamwall will describe the viral effect of the campaign as “minimal”, suggesting that if the campaign was successful, it was only as a PR strategy rather than through social media engagement. It will report:

“The distribution of the video was largely due to media editorial rather than actions by web users. More discussion was had about the campaign being a hoax (89%) than was had about the campaign’s content (11%). In addition, the campaign had little life beyond the initial setup and reveal, with a quickly reducing percentage of people viewing the video once it had been revealed as a hoax.”

Streamwall’s benchmarking includes giving a “units of social engagement” score. It gives the Witchery camapaign a rating of just 31%.

The report adds: ” The data indicates that 23% of social media discussion was negative towards the campaign,with only 9% of social media discussion being positive. However, due to the social “half life” of the viral element, discussion quickly reduced to a negligible level, resulting in a limited ongoing impact.”

Streamwall said that it will be publishing the numbers because when Naked released its survey on the success of the campaign, it only assessed the comments on YouTube, where the video first appeared. It said: “Streamwall is taking the step of releasing this data due to the amount of speculation regarding the campaign, and in the interest of providing meaningful data rather than simply relying on user comments within YouTube as has previously been discussed in the media.”

Streamwall’s social media monitoring software scans more than 1.2m websites  and 162,000 blogs to produce its findings.

Update: Naked CEO Mat Baxter told Mumbrella that measuring just  the social media element of the campaign missed the point , which was to achieve a target for the client across all channels. He said: “You can’t look at social media in isolation. You have to look at all platforms where the message reaches the consumer. This is the equivalent of taking a racecar that’s just won a race and only looking at the tyres.”

He said that some of Streamwall’s comments on the research commissioned by Naked were based on misunderstanding – the assessment of YouTube commentary was carried out seperately by the agency to the independent survey of what the target group’s views were. He said: “They are trying to ride on the coat tails of the campaign which is fine and opportunistic, but they are looking at it in an extremely rigid way. Without a doubt the campaign was a success.”


  1. Anonymous
    5 Feb 09
    8:32 pm

  2. Why just measure one channel (social media) to test the effectiveness or not? Seems a weird thing to do. By saying social media wasn’t effective the take out then becomes ‘successful campaign but social media doesn’t contribute that much’!

  3. Ben
    5 Feb 09
    8:56 pm

  4. silo mentality. biggest problem in digital

  5. Anonymous
    5 Feb 09
    9:03 pm

  6. Who the hell is streamwall? If there way of researching is anything to go by they won’t be around for long

  7. Anonymous
    6 Feb 09
    7:46 am

  8. It’s funny that Naked claim the campaign was a social media success but when statistics come out that show it wasn’t a social media success, Naked then claim social media shouldn’t be looked at out of context. I don’t actually see where the streamwall people are saying the campaign itself wasn’t a success, they just seem to be saying the social media part of it didnt work.

  9. Dave
    6 Feb 09
    8:33 am

  10. Their awareness figure came from an online survey – poeple who are extremely active online and thus much more likely to be seeing/ hearing about the online ad.

    So the survey is not in any way representative of all people in the age group they are targeting. If they did the survey the right way they would have an awareness figure that would much much lower.

  11. Anonymous
    6 Feb 09
    8:51 am

  12. I agree with Dave. Naked’s awareness figure came from people that did the survey online, which is not a good methodology.

    It is unbelievable how arrogant Naked are coming across – when other people actually have real data about online, they dismiss it. Now does anyone have real data about the other channels the campaign used (were there any others??)

  13. Anonymous
    6 Feb 09
    9:44 am

  14. Finally some stats :)

  15. Dan
    6 Feb 09
    10:34 am

  16. “So the survey is not in any way representative of all people in the age group they are targeting” – and you are saying this just because it was conducted online. Dave you must think that the demographic of male 25-39 years cannot be represented online. Strange world you live.

  17. Simon
    6 Feb 09
    11:18 am

  18. Can’t someone ask Witchery if they sold any of the jackets. Surely that’s the key.

  19. Zac Martin
    6 Feb 09
    12:12 pm

  20. You can’t use YouTube comments for research purposes. Ever.

    I wonder if they include comments about Heidi’s boobs as commentary about the content?

  21. Tony@TacticalTV
    6 Feb 09
    12:43 pm

  22. Simon is right (2 up).

    The chaps at Naked are obviously very brainy but at the end of the day ‘they are paid to sell stuff’ as everyone in the ad business is.

    We forget we are really just car salesmen, with degrees.

  23. Dan
    6 Feb 09
    12:47 pm

  24. Naked appear very defensive.
    Why? What are they hiding?

    This being said, I have no interest in shopping at Wichery anyway.

  25. Cathie
    6 Feb 09
    1:41 pm

  26. Oh thank the lord; Simon gets straight to the point like a hot knife through butter! 😀
    The first rule of social media is that there aren’t any rules – while I personally would argue that transparency and respect for the consumer are paramount, ultimately if you’re confident that the outcome will justify the means, then that mitigates the risk.
    We are, after all, in the business of exciting desire – and dare I say actually selling stuff. That has to be the measure, not the amount of hot air generated by social media thoughtwranglers.

  27. paul
    6 Feb 09
    3:16 pm

  28. Naked are a shameless bunch of no integrity wankers and bullshit artists. Woebetide the dumn clients like Coke and Big Pond who retail them.

  29. Anonymous
    6 Feb 09
    3:21 pm

  30. Naked are so up their own you know what’s, they seem to have somehow forgotten that they are supposed to be selling stuff (jackets) to consumers. And consumers have voted loud and clear, they demand honesty and authenticity. Mission failed. High 5 to Simon!

  31. A
    7 Feb 09
    10:09 pm

  32. Groan. Naked have actually lost of the major assignments they’ve used to (genuinely) win accolades all those years ago.

    They went from strategic consultancy to a maze of horrible branded content and experiential firms, thus diluting the whole “independent” moniker they’ve been using to sell themselves.

    In the need for growth, they’ve ended up hiring every UTS graduate known to man so all you have are trendy, know-nothing 20 year olds who are laughably named ‘strategists’.

    What’s truly horrible for Witchery is that the majority of commentary about the campaign is actually about Naked – anyway, all publicity is good publicity so I’m looking forward to the campaign submission video for this (millions of hits! reaching 1 in 3 Australians!) to appear on the Award circuit.


  33. Anonymous
    25 Feb 09
    9:45 pm

  34. While you all have very good points… a particular post caught my eye from Simon – “Ask them if they sold any jackets’
    I work at Witchery and we aren’t actually rolling out the men’s range until March.
    I think the whole campaign was mainly aimed at creating awarness of the fact that Witchery are doing something new.
    Regardless of whether people are actually interested in the product, the campaign resulted in major publicity and has been rather controversial – an outcome significantly more successful than if simple ads were placed in regular medias.
    To conclude – they weren’t interested in selling jackets, but instead creating awareness, which by judging from this blog and the media attention recieved, certainly worked!


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