Every marketer digs a user-generated campaign … until it gets hijacked in some way, which it inevitably does. Greenpeace, for example, has been running a contest to name a whale. Following the usual ho-hum entries, a group of zealots banded together to push the candidacy of one Mr. Splashy Pants. Like most Internet memes—see the dramatic chipmunk—this one spawned all sorts of added activity, including the making of a logo, T-shirt and Facebook groups. Reddit, the social news site, even recast its logo as Mr. Splashy Pants. Now, Greenpeace, which we erroneous thought had lightened up a bit, is looking to take down Mr. Splashy Pants. It has recognized Mr. S.P. as a candidate, but has accused Splashy Pants enthusiasts of stuffing the ballot box—now it’s disallowing some clicks and even extending the voting deadline, apparently in the hope that some tamer name like Aiko (“little love” in Japanese) will gain steam. My money’s on Mr. Splashy Pants pulling out the win. Thanks to Molly Parsley, AKQA employee and Mr. Splashy Pants fan, for pointing out this injustice.
—Posted by Brian Morrissey