SEOUL, Korea — On Oct. 17, Kia launched its new EndPoverty campaign in partnership with World Vision. But its slogan, “1Like=1Day Food for 1 Family,” didn’t sit well with a number of the 27,000 fans of the Kia Worldwide Facebook page.
The original post elicited a strong reaction from followers, garnering nearly 4,000 “Likes” and a comments section of about 200 posts of mixed reviews. While some supporters defended Kia, several called the brand “sickening,” and certain users claimed the post was “emotional blackmail.”
Kia spokesperson Jeet Dhindsa told F&I and Showroom that the goal of the campaign is to provide food support for the people of South Sudan, as well as spread awareness of global poverty. “Hence, the Facebook ‘Like’ strategy was chosen as a way to effectively maximize awareness of this ongoing problem due to the viral ‘newsfeed’ function of Facebook.
“Upon reviewing feedback from Facebook users, we agreed that the original messaging was confusing, and immediately reworded our postings to clarify the campaign’s intention and eliminate further misunderstanding,” Dhindsa said.
The donation amount from Kia is irrespective of the number of ‘Likes’ generated by the campaign, the spokesperson said, and World Vision will use the manufacturer’s predetermined donation amount via the UN’s World Food Programme to provide the equivalent of one day’s sustenance for 100,000 families.
The Kia representative explained that the majority of negative comments were in response to the original wording, triggered by an anonymous Facebook page that “criticizes brands using Facebook.”