It sounded like a good idea. Create a viral buzz campaign built around a contest to rename Kraft's Vegemite's cream cheese spread first launched in 1923. Out of 48,000 Australian entrants, the food company selected the winner who submitted the name "Vegemite iSnack2.0" because of its inference of making something new out of something old. So what went wrong?
On September 28,the Internet community got very vocal. Twitter, the microblogging site which has over 700,000 Australian users started sending in thousands of negative tweets critiquing the name choice. as follows...
Apparently referencing a food product with the "i" from iPod and 2.0 for its obvious Web reference did not sit well with the Twitterati Down Under.
Perhaps the Kraft marketing team should have taken a lesson from Mrs. McGillicutty's commercial endorsement when she attempted to sell a product with a similar name back in the day.
But instead... following this backlash, Kraft turned to the Australian consumers once again, polling now 30,000 people to come up with yet another name for the Vegemite cream cheese. Of those polled, 36% voted for "Cheesybite," 23% for "Smooth," 20% for "Vegemate," 8% for "Snackmate," 7% for "Vegemild" and 6% for "Creamymate."
So this time around, "Cheesybite" replaced "iSnack2.0", even with the obvious connotation of being a "cheesy" product.
When all is said and done, it looks like this marketing debacle did eventually find a targeted audience. And they're probably the same folks that would have bought Lucille Ball's Vitameatavegamin back in the 1950s. When last seen the iSnack2.0 jars that were purchased from grocery stores, before the product was pulled from the shelves are now selling on eBay for $30 a jar, and $100 a case. Consumers may have not loved the name, but they sure know how to seize an opportunity when there is some quick cash to be made!