Social media faux pas or social media smart — you decide

There's the brewing of a lively discussion going on at one of the other blogs I write for, IowaBiz.  It's a situation worthy of your thoughts so I thought I would bring the conversation over here.

Here are the facts:

Hubbell Realty is a very established and respected builder/developer in Iowa.  They have just opened a new condo complex in one of the more affluent suburbs.  The condo's design, size and amenities make it a perfect fit for young professionals.

And so a perfect fit for social media.

Hubbell's advertising agency has invented what they are calling a spokesperson.  (She is actually one of the agency's ad reps who lives in Philadelphia).  This spokesperson has a Facebook account (she went to school at Depaw University, spends time at Johnny's Hall of Fame (a local hang out), celebrated her birthday in November and loves watching The Office.)  She has a blog (so far, she only writes about how much she loves her new home) and she's done some videos.  (Feed readers and e-mail subscribers, click on the post's headline to view.)

Here's the question: 

As you see on the video, no one is told that Hailey is a fictitious character, played by a woman in Philly.  On her Facebook page, there is a note that says "Hailey Brownstone is part of a Hubbell Homes promotional campaign."  But other than that notation — I can't find any disclaimer or explanation that tells us that Hailey isn't real.

She's received date requests and has 130 Facebook friends. 

The company and some of the supporters of the campaign at IowaBiz argue that since her name is Hailey Brownstone we should all get the joke.  The place is called GreenWay Crossing.  And they have brownstones and villas.

I did a search and there are plenty of Brownstones out there.  I'm thinking most of them are real people. 

So what do you think?  Smart social media campaign?  Social media faux pas?

UPDATE:  The comments are so plentiful — we had to go to two pages.  After Cat's comment…click on the NEXT to keep reading!

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