I read an interesting story today about a guerrilla marketing campaign that went wrong. According to The Daily Tar Heel, a UNC student attempted to promote his new social media website, Bevii, and he “emailed approximately 17,000 students Tuesday under the pretense of an Alert Carolina message.” He reportedly had hand registered the AlertCarolina.com domain name to send the email.
Obviously this was problematic, but for more reasons than you might think. The student presumably made many people nervous when they received the email because it does look like a warning about a campus shooting. According to the article, the Bevii website is now blocked by the school, so many students who did hear about the website can’t even access it.
One piece of good news is that this article is making the rounds on social media this morning. That was partially the intent of the email in the first place, so I guess the company succeeded. The bad news, however, is that the Bevii branding is probably somewhat difficult for some people to find because of the spelling.
When I think of the word Bevii, my first thought would be to spell it like the word “bevy.” Sidenote: Bevy.com looks like it’s for sale, so it might be wise to try and buy it. I would then probably do a Google search, and that probably wouldn’t help me much since it’s a new brand.
It’s great for the company that they are getting all of this free publicity. The marketing execution was poor in my opinion, but it did spread the word. Unfortunately, having a difficult to spell brand domain name is going to harm them more, especially because its being discussed quite a bit right now.