Every year the ad industry descends on Cannes, in the south of France, to hand out a few trophy cases of work for the best efforts of the year. In typical French fashion, the ad festival’s relationship with the real day-to-day business of marketing is flirting at best. That June week is a time for pink wine, pinker skin, long, sweaty nights of networking, and the celebration of big, flashy ad campaigns. Extended, careful rumination on marketing’s eternal questions — what makes people buy, or simply like, your brand — does not exactly flourish in that tropical sun.
One of those things that doesn’t get much attention is the hard business of customer service, something that changed this year that changed with the handing of the Titanium Lion Grand Prix to Best Buy and agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky for their work on Twelpforce. The program takes the business of customer service, so often confined to call centers located in the land of God knows where and the return counters in stores, and opens it up for all to see. Employing Twitter — hence the “Tw” — and open to hundreds of Best Buy employees who can tweet from a single account, it’s the mobilization of the retailer’s army of experts to deal with customer complaints or question as they’re expressed in real time.