Received any emails from Myspace lately? In a desperate attempt to re-target past users, the former social media giant is emailing its user base so-called embarrassing, archived photos. The subject of the email you might receive is “The good, the rad and the what were you thinking…” The goal, according to a Myspace spokesperson, is to “Reach out to current and past users to re-engage them through a personalized experience.”
Chances are, like many of us, you have probably forgotten that Myspace ever even existed. Personally, I couldn’t log into my account today if my life depended on it. Not only can I not remember my username or password, but also I have no clue which of my dozen email accounts was linked to my profile. (Was it even called a profile or am I mixing things up with Facebook? Who knows!?)
For a good solid few years in the mid-oughts, many older Millennials and younger Gen Xers, such as myself, were diehard users of Myspace. All of us were too old to be a part of the first Facebook wave – as Facebook required you to be a college student – so we made do with Myspace. We spent hours customizing the colors on our pages, making our profile write-ups as cool as possible, checking out new bands before they made it big and chatting up friends. And, we did this all at home since there were no smartphones. I don’t even think I had Wi-Fi at the time. THAT’s how archaic Myspace feels to me.
Although Myspace’s new marketing campaign is clearly making headlines (or I probably wouldn’t be writing about it today), I find myself a little befuddled by the social network’s bold move for a number of reasons:
- It’s shock for shock’s sake. Myspace is all but dead and while I appreciate Justin Timberlake’s vision and attempts to reinvigorate the network with a sharp focus on music – strategically speaking, I cannot understand the rationale behind this marketing technique. If Myspace and Timberlake’s vision truly is to “empower all artists – from musicians and designers to writers and photographers – helping them connect with audiences, collaborators and partners to achieve their goals,” then how does offending or embarrassing your audience help?
- The campaign has nothing to do with music. When Myspace tried to reinvent itself back in 2013, the company debuted a $20 million campaign that included an on-strategy, music-filled, Millennial-friendly TV ad. Although Timberlake was suspiciously missing from the spot, the commercial was jam-packed with celebs and even Pharrell got some face time. Like the ad or not, it generated buzz and shouted loud and clear that Myspace was back and all about music. Myspace claims to have roughly 15 billion user photos on file (a small total compared to the 250 billion pics owned by Facebook), so if the company was going to stick to their core mission, why not at least bombard past users with music-themed photos, reminding them what Myspace is really all about? Instead, the photos seem to be loosely curated to be “embarrassing” and have no direct connection to music.
- If a tree falls and no one is around to hear it, did it still fall? Although no data is currently available on the success of the campaign, one has to wonder how relevant can Myspace’s email database actually be? With the rise of Gmail over the last decade as a preferred provider and roughly 20% of Americans creating new email addresses every six months, it is quite probable that Myspace is receiving a whole lot of bounce backs.
I hope that Myspace finds success with its campaign, but ultimately, as all of the recent media flack might suggest, this re-targeting effort can be seen as a simple lesson in the importance of staying true to your brand’s core mission and keeping email marketing lists up-to-date.
We’d love to hear what you think of Myspace’s new campaign and as always, if you need strategic support in planning a re-targeting campaign for your company, get in touch!