If you haven’t seen JELL-O’s #FML campaign yet, you’re in for a treat. Just in case you’re unfamiliar, the #FML hashtag is used on Twitter to say “F my life” — usually about "first world problems" as in:
JELL-O wants to reclaim #FML to mean “Fun my life.” They have responded to #FML tweets on Twitter with the following response:
When the campaign launched, there was immediate and polar feedback on the concept. Some people loved it:
Others saw a foreboding cloud over the shiny, new idea:
Here’s my perspective: Whether or not the campaign concept was a winner is irrelevant.
Who isn’t nostalgic for JELL-O? Who doesn’t want JELL-O telling them it’s all gonna be okay when we’re a little bummed out? Who wouldn’t want an #FML care package from JELL-O? Bill Cosby wouldn’t steer us wrong. JELL-O’s got it goin’ on.
I think the concept could have led to a phenomenally successful campaign. My issue lies with who they have responding to messages. In some instances, their responses seem delightful and cheery to a little bit of “first world problems” complainery.
But in others, their responses are inappropriately representing their brand — times when people share serious heartache and personal issues and have the wherewithal to archive it for the public with the #FML hashtag — and JELL-O winds up looking nonchalant about potentially serious issues.
I think a lot of people share real personal issues through social media in a hope for empathy or just to talk to someone. An improperly timed, relatively callous response to a serious cry for help could tank the JELL-O campaign if they don’t start setting some ground rules about the messages they will respond to.
Maybe the kid talking about dropping out of high school doesn’t really need a box full of JELL-O. Maybe he needs a link to the types of jobs you can get without a high school diploma or a swift kick to the head? I don’t know; I’m not his mom.
I know the cure for West Nile Virus isn't "MOAR JELL-O!" But it's not the job of advertising campaigns to be empathetic and sensitive.
I want to see how the campaign plays out. I think it was ballsy and creative. The creative that accompanies the new #FML is fantastic and I think it still has chance of flight.
You can also read what the advertising community has to say about the campaign so far:
From Digiday: JELL-O makes popular #FML hashtag G-rated
What do you think about it? Going places? Doomed to fail?
Have a great funning weekend.