Health Net’s fake Tweets are a real bad idea

Testimonials can make advertising more believable. But not when they’re fake. I saw this and a similar one, purportedly from @BusyMom or some other nonexistent Twitter account, yesterday.

So how does a large company like Health Net approve of an ad campaign that’s based on bogus Tweet testimonials, that’s so easy to see through, and makes the company come across like a bunch of phonies? I imagine they get free health insurance at work. But a campaign using fake Tweets? It’s as if they want to get a black eye in social media. #healthnetcares? Not.

UPDATE: November 1, 2012

I came across this webpage from Health Net, which explains their campaign. That a campaign has to be explained is a bad sign. The page contains three videos and the following text:

Hi – thanks for visiting us.

You might have seen our ads and have some questions. Our campaign features real testimonials from Health Net members. We thought this would be a fun way to show what our members think of us. While the execution may not have been perfect, it was always well intentioned.

Which reminds me of a Tweet from Lee Clow’s Beard, which, of course, is from Jason Fox, not Lee Clow—nor his beard.

Few things break my heart like seeing a brilliant idea poorly executed. Always sweat the details.

Not that Health Net’s (fake) Tweets were a brilliant idea, but their poor execution of social media was an act of self-sabotage that made the company appear less than genuine.

About Robert Moss

I write ads: traditional, non-traditional, interactive, edutainment, story-based, broadcast, and experiential marketing events. Sometimes I write about ads and the business of advertising. Sometimes I write about other stuff. The views expressed here are solely my own and don't reflect the views of my employers. I also published a novel called Descending Memphis that's getting great reviews on Amazon. see
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4 Responses to Health Net’s fake Tweets are a real bad idea

  1. jeweleel says:

    I completely agree. I don’t believe using a fake twitter account to reach the public is sending the right message. I am currently a college student at Indiana State University, so I grew up using social media. I have developed a great sense of what looks good and bad, and the fake twitter message just looks horrible. Thanks for the post!

  2. Robert Moss says:

    Thank you Jeweleel and Patrick, as well as to Adrants and Adweek for picking up the story and linking back to me.

  3. Steve Hall says:

    Good God! Those “real people” videos are worse than the original campaign!

  4. Pingback: HealthNet Using Fake Tweets as Testimonials on Billboards - Softext

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