Have you ever heard of spoofing?
It is an effective method to make an organization’s marketing efforts more powerful by striking back.
The strategy is implemented with the help of social media by creating such a strong image of a target company so that the company takes actions to change its policies. This is done by using the target company’s own communications, often in the form of parody, i.e. through paraphrasing their slogan, presenting an alternative version of their commercials and message, so that they are changed to give a new meaning.
At the moment, Volkswagen is the target of a spoof campaign by Greenpeace.
According to the organization, the German car manufacturer is opposed to the upcoming legislation for stricter environmental regulations within the EU, and this is what Greenpeace is seeking to change.
Watch the film below to see how spoofing is done in practice when Greenpeace takes action.
Volkswagen’s original film:
Greenpeace’s film in response:
On the campaign website http://www.vwdarkside.com/sv people are told to become Jedi-knights and to fight for Volkswagen to leave the “dark side” (at the time of writing, over half a million people have joined the campaign).
Spoofing has shown itself to be an effective way for Greenpeace to force a company to change their policies and ways of conducting business. They have been successful against both Apple (for environmentally dangerous chemicals within computers) and Nestlé (for devastation of rain forests in Indonesia), among others, and now use spoofing as a regular method in order to build public opinion and as a vehicle to drive change.