BMW invites Sina Weibo users to ‘Ctrl-Z’ after creating fake ‘worldwide day of regret’
By Gemma Storey on Wednesday, July 24, 2013
So, have you heard about the “worldwide day of regret”? It sounds like the world has some kind of collaborative hangover, but no, it’s actually the day when social media types share their deepest regrets with their followers.
Those horrible moments that they wish they could Ctrl-Z out of existence.
Only it’s not.
It’s a fake global awareness day designed to promote the BMW Z4.
BMW co-opted a group of key opinion leaders from the microblogging site Sina Weibo, back on July 8th and then these microbloggers began spreading the word about the upcoming day of regret (second Friday of every July if you want to schedule some time to reminisce in 2014).
When day of regret 2013 dawned (July 12th) more than 300,000 Sina Weibo users published their regrets, using the hashtag #Ctrl Z Day. Chinese news channels even picked up the story, bemoaning the fact that there seemed to be an awareness day for everything these days.
BMW only revealed that it was the force behind the campaign when it introduced the ad for its new car over on Sina Weibo on July 15th. Posting the message:
“Life is not a flat road there will inevitably be setbacks, a few of which you will have no choice over, but regret can’t reverse them. Rather than remembering the past, it is better to look forward to the future. Life doesn’t have a Ctrl Z. Control Z4: drive and have no regret!”
Perhaps oddly, there doesn’t appear to have been much anger at the deception involved here (some users did share quite emotional regrets). There’s no doubt that the campaign was successful in getting the attention of Chinese internet users, and mainstream media, but it could just as easily have caused the users who were tricked to view the brand in a negative light.