How Flash Entertainment missed an excellent opportunity

How Flash Entertainment missed an excellent opportunity

This morning I received an email from @BaselAnabtawi. The content of the email was very simple. We were to start an online social media drive amongst friends to convince Flash Entertainment in Abu Dhabi to help Basel in meeting @Metallica. If you haven’t been keeping up, Metallica is set to perform in the YAS Arena at Abu Dhabi on the 25th of October. This is their first time in the Middle East. What happened next was nothing short of insane.

I personally decided to take the content of the email and convert it into a small quick HTML page highlighting what we wanted everyone to do. You can see the set of instructions that we were passing around in the morning on this link.

What began as a couple of us tweeting using the #BaselMeetsMetallica tag turned within hours into a phenomena that gripped the UAE timeline. By around 4pm, #BaselMeetsMetallica fought its way up to the 3rd most trending topic in the UAE. It was truly a sight to behold.

Thanks @SoapBoxDXB!

While all of this was going on, as someone who’s actively managing clients on social networks, I was waiting for the finish line. I was waiting to see the reaction of @ThinkFlash after the horde of people tweeted every single possible type of message to them. Jokes, Memes, Witty Remarks Direct Requests amongst many others. Not once has anyone stepped overboard and insulted @ThinkFlash. We all kept it civil and we all waited in anticipation. I mean, what could they possibly say after the amount of love and support the community has shown a single man with a dream of meeting the band he grew up listening to? Then this came along.

Flash Response

What. A. Missed. Opportunity. Rather than seeing the craze that took place on the timeline and jumping on board with it, we received a lawyer’s note. A message so structured and so boring. The least a brand could have done is at least promise to try. Or look into it. Who knows what could have happened? I was genuinely disappointed and believe a much better answer could have been given. An answer that could have earned @ThinkFlash respect on a personal level to many people.

On another hand, today’s trend showed 2 types of companies. The Opportunistic and the Real Boring. The Opportunistic were ones who saw an opportunity to join the movement and gave their full support to the campaign. Amongst those was @IOION_UAE @naheldotcom @redbullUAE @SpotonPR and some others. The Real Boring are the ones who just stood on the side announcing corporate news without pitching in. Booo!

Overall this has been an awesome experience and great to see yet again how tight the UAE Twitter community is. A shout out goes to the region who all chipped in! Was good fun.

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  • I’ll be opportunistic here and RT myself: lol: http://twitter.com/#!/Ammouni/status/120478161355014145

    I completely agree with you, their response didn’t meet the hype the UAE twitterverse created and is not expected from a supposedly ‘cool’ events company.

    • Anonymous

      RT Yourself as much as You’d like! Thanks for dropping by and showing your support Ammouni.

  • I thought they are scheduled to perform on the 25th?

    • Anonymous

      Yes you are right. Excuse that error. Will update it now. 🙂

  • UAE’s events management attached to it is wrapped up around 2 things: Fear of what could happen next if they let one thing slip, and of course, hypocrisy. This is EXACTLY why most of these events, if not all, are profit making. They have a mission: To put UAE on the map. What did you expect? All the best Basel. I wished that you would have fulfilled your dream. Joe, you’re just a GOOD friend for helping him out 🙂

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the good feedback Khaled! Very glad to see the community rise to support this initiative. It’s great to see.

  • great job joe!” thats the power of SM we will keep tweeting it hoping to invoke a sense of fanatic-ism> basel sure deserves it, come on @thinkflash get your act together ! All the best guys!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the support Nour!

  • Anonymous

    Guys, just to clarify things here, having worked in the entertainment industry for over 8 years, no one has an authority in concerts except for the artist. Some of the artists that I’ve worked with didn’t even allow the organizer to see them. Heck, I was with a record label and we weren’t allowed backstage in a few concerts.
    As for this one, I don’t know what the contract between Flash and Metallica is, but any “meet & greet” should have been agreed to ages before the concert, I hardly doubt they’ll be able to pull this off right now.
    Just an example, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer, used to lock himself in a room rehearsing before the concert, even the band members weren’t allowed to talk to him.

    • yeah u r right… I bet the signed contract does not include any sort of “meet & greet”. On the other hand, many do not understand the limitations any event company would face when organizing concerts for big names like Metallica. However, I totally agree to Akkawi. Their response didn’t meet the created hype.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks for the feedback Loai!

    • Anonymous

      I know it can be very tough as I’ve worked closely with CSM and I’ve shot 5 Desert Rock concerts. Meet & Greets were always available to media and competition winners. This is of course up to the band. I know Flash might not have any information or clearances to promise anything. I think all what everyone wanted was just an answer that made us all go HOORAY as opposed to Booo. Bummer.

      Time will tell!

  • Sorry man, don’t agree. Why should Flash pander to a deliberate campaign which has no real knock on benefit to them? So they were honest with the consumer (which is what all people on Twitter cry for and said, I doubt it dude) and suddenly they’re boring.

    Would you rather they promised something they clearly knew they probably won’t be able to deliver for the sake of the egos of some people on twitter?

    Did the brand get damaged in any way? No. Will you refuse to buy a ticket for their next event on principle? No. Would it help ticket sales and generate future bankable goodwill by agreeing to do it? No.

    They didn’t need to play the game, so they didn’t. It was not a crisis, or a major event. Their response was fine. Simple.

    • Anonymous

      I genuinely believe that this could have been an excellent opportunity for Flash to work on perception. A campaign such as this that has exceeded a 130K regional reach with some of the region’s most influential Twitteratis could have worked heavily in their favor if a non-robotic answer was given.

      Thanks for being honest though! Good to see different points of view.

      • We’ll agree to disagree here. Interesting debate nonetheless. I can see your side of the argument I just don’t think it sets a very good precedent for the brand.

  • We are not in Think Flash’s shoes to know or decide what they can and what they can’t do. Basel has a right to express his wish, but people has no right to attack Think Flash the way they are doing.

    If people wish to express their opinion and take a stand against Think Flash, they has the right to, but if you want to be on that side, it is not a missed opportunity yet. The show is still 3 weeks away, and they might make Basel’s wish come true.

    If you wish to make a Social Media case study about this, you can and you have the right, but after the show is over.

    Think Flash might ask Metallica to call for Basel on stage and make it as a suprise…

    And in case they didn’t grant his wish, they didn’t miss anything. At max, people has the right to support Basel, but negatively attack Think Flash? they haven’t done any wrong so far.

    • Anonymous

      We’ll never know till the date of the show! I have to re-iterate though that your comment about attacking Flash doesn’t hold true. The timeline doesn’t a single attack on Flash or any of its employees. We’re not going out of way to harm them. This isn’t the point and we WILL combat any negative comments if they come up.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  • Anonymous

    Hey Joe,

    I don’t want to be a party-pooper like many people and say there are better things to make a trending topic out of, like dying starving children or whatever. We all have the right to tweet for the heck of entertainment purposes.

    That said, I disagree with the notion that people have regarding social media that it “empowers” people. I wrote about it before in one of my cynical posts, but to cut it short people are given the illusion the have control and power. To an extent yes, and we affect brand perception (again, to an extent), but to tweet and expect to illicit a response from a brand or company is not exactly the right frame of mind to have, or how social media should work. If it were, brands would be going left and right trying to please everyone’s demands, most of which I am sure do not align with policies, principles, or strategic or operational goals set by the company.

    It would have been theoretically “nice” of them to respond that they’ll look into it, but this will open the floodgates of a gazillion other requests, for this event or any other event. You cannot possibly believe that you have the authority to force anyone to do something out of peer pressure falsely set by social media.

    The initiative is nice, and it was good fun to watch… but I see no reason to make a big deal out of an outcome that is expected and acceptable for practical purposes.

    • Anonymous

      A good point of view, but I can pretty much guarantee this is an endless debate. Some of the best case studies about SM success is companies that have gone to creative means in handling such issue.

      No one is expecting a miracle but one of the first ever guidelines in social communication is to be personable. To feel like you’re connecting with a brand. Receiving a lawyer’s response isn’t one of them. Especially for an “entertainment” company. I could think of a 100 better responses on this scenario. Again though, that’s up to judgement and you will have 100 different opinions following suit.

      It was and is still fun. Also phenomenal to look at how when something gets picked up by the right people, it goes to insane lengths. I’m just happy no one tried to attack or Insult flash. Some tweeps were suggesting that we’re trying to “Crucify” Flash with this campaign. This wasn’t, won’t and will never be the intent.

    • Wanna comment on your first point and thank you for it. We should leverage SM more for social good and for causes that impact many instead of one.

  • Anonymous

    Amen! Time for escalation.

  • Anonymous

    Amen!

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