“There’s no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.” -Brendan Behan, Irish writer
Even in the constant onslaught of social media, some things stop you mid-scroll.
Here’s the kicker (no wrong sport pun intended): Hostess did this on purpose.
“The ‘Touchdown’ line was intentional; it’s fun and aimed at young audiences who are in on the running joke – which, of course, is the goalllll.” -Ellen Copaken, senior director of marketing at Hostess Brands
As a company who helps brands with social media, we love to secure increased exposure for clients, along with achieving their other objectives. Positive exposure, we should point out. We can’t ever imagine making a brand look stupid in order to gain engagement and attention. How does that help with the big picture?
“For a few hours, Hostess achieved the all-consuming goal of social media managers everywhere: cut through the noise. Even though it had to act like an idiot to do it.” -Mashable
Along the same lines, there was a mixed reaction to JCPenney’s #TweetingWithMittens Super Bowl stunt last year. If you missed it, the retailer sent out a series of tweets filled with mistakes and typos. Most Twitter users thought that the people manning the account were intoxicated, or the account had been hacked. It turned out the company was “tweeting with mittens” to promote its status as the official supplier of Team USA’s mittens.
The company planned this strategy because Super Bowl XLVIII was held outdoors in New Jersey, and freezing temperatures were expected. Unfortunately for JCP, temps were much higher for the game, so wearing mittens didn’t make sense. However, JCPenney’s engagement went through the roof (both positive and negative), and its week-over-week mitten sales doubled.
So, here’s our question –> Does the end always justify the means?
If your brand’s engagement soars (even negative mentions), is it worth it?
Would you use a stunt that may reflect poorly on your brand in order to gain publicity?
This is a hot topic; Mashable even wrote about it. We’d love to hear your take!