My Final Word on Ragu

I promised everyone a follow-up to the whole Ragu mess that I initially ranted about here, and then offered some free advice here.

This morning, I had a brief call with a manager from Unilever (Ragu’s parent company) and employees at two agencies. I was not provided the names of these agencies, so I still don’t officially know who was involved — and at this point, I just don’t care.

Recall that this began with me wanting to help a brand use social media better than they were currently doing — and once again, I’m walking away feeling empty about the whole experience.

Before I tell you about the call, let me say this: I know I shouldn’t care so much about a poorly executed campaign. I shouldn’t care that yet another brand is trying to be for everyone while really only wanting to talk to some.

But, the fact is, I do care. I do hate seeing silly mistakes being made. I hate seeing something that could be great falling down and being less.

I refrained from writing this blog post for several hours after the fact so that I could fully digest the call with a clear head, including the comments that were made, and reactions as a whole.

I told the representatives on the phone that I think the overall goal of Ragu’s campaign makes sense. Getting kids to eat, providing healthy meals and having an open conversation around this is awesome because all parents face these issues. I also complimented them for realizing that their target audience was mothers, focusing on that market, and naming the program with that solid focus on moms.

Those strategies make sense. That’s good old fashioned marketing. Define your audience, and then go after it.

Do I think this is more of a parenting issue than a mom issue? Damn straight I do, but I’m sure they had their reasons for focusing on only half of the parenting equation. That is Ragu’s decision. To each their own, right?

However, I also reminded them of another longstanding business and messaging strategy: If you want any other audience beyond your target market to be interested in your product, you must make them feel welcomed.

When my first interaction with a brand is an @ spam on Twitter … and when I engage and yet see nothing to welcome me … that is a turn-off. Follow that up with a video that insults me and my friends? Yeah, not exactly the welcoming committee I would have expected.

This is something I’ve taught people and companies for years. A community needs to feel welcoming if you want to see it grow. If a brand is truly trying to reach parents, then it must to use that word and have photos and content featuring of all sorts of parents. If you’re trying to reach teenagers, you don’t fill a website with photos of Grammy and Grampa, do you? I’ve never understood why this was so hard to understand.

From the beginning of this conversation, this was my reaction and my story. I wasn’t trying to influence anyone or change the world with a post. Yet as a recognized expert in this field, I have more than a good idea of what I’m talking about. I’ve developed and executed enough campaigns to know what works and what doesn’t.

Know this: Ragu’s misstep has moved to the top of my “what not to do” examples I’ll discuss on stage in future client presentations and keynotes.

For in the end, Ragu is yet another company that’s using a traditional marketing mentality to run their social programs. It doesn’t work. The company wants to engage people — and yet are not behaving like people themselves. They’re spamming prospects and ignoring opportunities to interact.

I’m still struck by that. In the past few days, this critical conversation has generated hundreds of comments, tweets and posts … and the brand has not replied to a single one of them. That’s shameful.

Silence is not a solution in social media.

 

Update: After all of this, Ragu finally comments somewhere about this whole thing.

697 words

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C.C. Chapman

Bio

Sketch of C.C. Chapman by Hey Instigator!There are many aspects OF who I am and what I do. Putting together THIS PAGE is one of my least favorite things to write, because talking about myself is not my idea of a fun time.

When asked what I do my current answer is, “I create, teach and motivate people to do more good in the world.”

Of course, that doesn’t cover all that I work on professionally and personally, so that is why I created this page.

Official bios and head shots can be found below.

Who is C.C. Chapman? I’m a…

Marketing Consultant

With over twenty years of marketing, online media and community building experience I have the skills and experience to help your organization no matter the size. Previous clients have included The Coca-Cola Company, American Eagle Outfitters and HBO.

I focus on social good/impact marketing, content marketing and brand strategy. My favorite clients are NGOs, nonprofits or brands looking to make a difference in the world.

Feel free to double check my credentials on LinkedIn.

Writer

I’m constantly writing and always working on my next book. You may have read some of my published works including Amazing Things Will HappenContent Rules or 101 Steps to Making Video Like a Pro.

Freelance writing or citizen reporting assignments excite me.

Photographer

If I had to choose a style, I’d say my photos are a mix of documentary, travel and lifestyle photography. While I may not enjoy taking head shots, I love to shoot faces. I rarely go anywhere without a camera in my hand and I’ve been fortunate to see my photos on the pages of Rolling Stone and The Wall Street Journal.

I’m currently shooting with a Samsung NX1 and a Chroma 4k Drone.

My photos can be found on InstagramFlickr and 500px.

Keynote Speaker

I’m happiest when on stage educating and inspiring an audience of any size, anywhere in the world.

I have spoken at everything from large international events, corporate retreats and at special gatherings of unique individuals. If you need someone who will inspire, educate and entertain your audience I’d love to chat.

Advocate & Volunteer

I believe in using my skills, time and voice to champion causes that are important to me. I’m especially interested in anything military, dogs or children focused.

I’m currently the President of the Board at Wediko, a member of the ONE Girls & Women Advisory Board, serve on the board of The Hockey Foundation and recently joined the No Kid Hungry Social Council.

Teacher

I’ve developed and taught courses for Lynda.com, CreativeLive and Treehouse. I’m also an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Bentley University and hoping to do more teaching in the future.

 

On top of all that I’m a proud life long New Englander who was born and raised in New Hampshire, but now resides outside of Boston.

I married my high school sweetheart, have two amazing kids and love being a dad.

I’ve been online since 1989, began blogging in 2002 and podcasting in 2004.

Previous endeavors I created include Accident Hash, Passion Hit TV, Digital Dads and The Advance Guard.

Tattoos, travel and the outdoors turn me on. There are fewer things more perfect than a well done cocktail, a delicious meal or live art of any sort. I love my GORUCK, Field Notes and am a proud Misfit.

To understand me is to understand that I try to live a purposeful life every day that is full of adventure, love and making the world around me a better place for all.


Official Bio

C.C. Chapman describes himself as a New England raised storyteller, explorer and humanitarian. Others have described him as a thought leader in the online marketing space, a grounded futurist and one the nicest guy on the Internet. Over the years of his career he has worked with a variety of clients including Nike, HBO, American Eagle Outfitters, ONE, Verizon FiOS and The Coca-Cola Company.

He is the co-author of the International bestseller Content Rules and is also the author of Amazing Things Will Happen. He travels the world speaking in front of  audiences to do more in the world and how to understand content marketing better.  C.C. has taught classes for Lynda.com, CreativeLive and now as an adjunct professor at Bentley University (where he also graduated from).

C.C. is an advocate who speaks about building passionate communities and the strategic values of content-based marketing. He is a Samsung Imagelogger, the original ONE Dad and a UN Foundation Social Good Fellow. As a storyteller for hire, his work has appeared on the pages of Rolling Stone and The Wall Street Journal.

C.C. serves as the Chairman of the Board at Wediko and serves on the board of The Hockey Foundation. He happily lives in the woods outside of Boston with his loving family. Find out more at CC-Chapman.com

 

Fun Bio

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more multi-faceted or enthusiastic creative/strategic partner in the marketing and content creation fields. This greatly hails from C.C.’s unstoppable combination of marketing experience and savvy (which a great many professionals claim to have), and incalculably valuable “on the ground” knowledge and insight as an influential content creator himself (which a great many professionals do not). The result is a best-of-both-worlds mashup of marketing expertise.

C.C. Chapman sports the pro cred to be a talker (working closely with such clients as American Eagle Outfitters, Coca-Cola, HBO and Warner Bros.), and the passion and gumption to be a doer (creating content for the emerging Online Dad market, marketing professionals, music fans and more). He’s helped create, manage and execute ambitious online and offline marketing campaigns for startups and multinationals — and has the invaluable good sense to know which outreach strategies work with audiences, and which ones fall flat.

He authoritatively speaks your language. He speaks your CMO’s language. Most important, he’s fluent in your market’s language. It’s a killer double-chocolate-and-peanut-butter combination. Contact C.C. to learn how he can help your organization achieve its business goals. There’s even more to know about C.C. Chapman, if you want to read it — and you should. C.C.’s skills are an embarrassment of riches.

 

Head Shots

CC-Chapman-Cubelean     CC-AYASummit

CC Chapman Headshot Vertical    CC-armscrossed

DISCLOSURES

I’m involved with a lot of organizations and clients. I believe in being completely transparent and open about everything I’m working on. I’ll do my best to keep this updated and of course will clearly disclose relationships in any post that require them.

I am open to being pitched and invited on press trips.

Companies do send me items in the hopes that I will review it or share with my community. If you send me something it does not guarantee a review.

With that in mind, my mailing address is:

9 C Medway Road #117
Milford, MA
01757

Current relationships include:

  • Verizon FiOS provides me with service in exchange for a monthly post on technology of my choosing
  • Member of the Verizon Wireless VZWBuzz Influencer Team which means I receive electronics to review and experiences to take part in.

 

Affiliate links are used whenever they are available when linking to products of any sort.

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