MGM’s new Twitter promotion “Get Rewarded for Your Sins” invites people to “tweet their sins” to #mgmsin. The tweets are displayed on the promotion website, asking viewers to judge the sins as forgivable or unforgivable. In addition, the Twitter feed of sins will be projected onto buildings in Los Angeles at night.

MGM-YourSins-a1A winner is chosen every day for 30 days, and awarded a free night at the MGM Grand, which is great, because you might just need that free night when you get kicked out of the house.

To me, this is troubling on a few levels. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is a brilliant concept, but it’s brilliant in that it plays on the inadequacies of human judgment.

Social Media is NOT Private
First, it perpetuates the notion that status updates, regardless of medium, are private. Most people tend to believe that only their friends or networks can see their updates, if they stop and think about it at all. Tweeting one’s sins can lead to a pile of trouble, especially if one does not stop to think that your network will also be seeing this message.

Updates Last a Very, Very Long Time
Second, your network will see this message (Repeated for emphasis). Unless you create an all new account with no followers, someone you know will see your tweeted sin. And it doesn’t have to be live – it can reside on your twitter page and in your feed. Anyone can see it anytime. If you have no problem airing your “sins” on twitter, and the people that follow you have no problem with that, then by all means, this is for you.
social media privacy
Third, the examples that are given on the website provide a unique insight as to what this promotion is looking for. One example is about having a sex dream about a co-worker, the other is about having an affair with a woman in another city. It’s implied that there are some sins that are more sensational (sex) and those are the ones that they want to see. Are those tweets that you would feel comfortable tweeting to your network?

The potential for hearing “too much information” is great for this kind of campaign. There are too many people that have no filter for this type of contest. This brings me to the marketing brilliance of this campaign. Its brilliance relies on the lack of judgment in people.

Who Pays?
If you were to tweet something and it causes problem in the workplace, or at home, or in the worst case, makes the news. The person who tweeted the sin will get the brunt of the judgment and consequence. MGM Grand will get free publicity on the back of any explosive or career-ending fallout.

Brilliance & Risk
And that’s the marketing brilliance of the campaign. No fault, just exposure. No risk for MGM Grand. The ones that express their sins without thought of consequence are the ones taking the risk.

As a marketer, I’m intrigued by this campaign, but I am apprehensive because of the collateral damage to other people’s lives this could cause.