Hostess #OpeningDay Tweet ‘Mistake’ Garners Brand Exactly What It Hoped For
A social media "oops" by a big brand is sure to generate lots of criticism and smug commentary. Why not capitalize on that phenomenon?
Social media is filled with brands making mistake after mistake after faux paux after faux paux. These mistakes provide hours and hours of Schadenfreude-fueled entertainment, sparking social media participants to craft witty retorts and throw the brand under the bus.
But what about when the brand intentionally screws up and baits everyone on social media to pile on and unleash their pent up vitriol? Let’s take a look at a tweet sent by Hostess which intentionally used football terminology in its #OpeningDay tweet.
Here’s the tweet the brand sent:
— Hostess Snacks (@Hostess_Snacks) April 6, 2015
As you can see, the brand’s social media person has mixed up their sporting terminology. Many piled on including Sports Illustrated and CNBC which were quick to point out the mistake:
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 6, 2015
— CNBC (@CNBC) April 6, 2015
Clearly the brand was going for all the attention it could get with this “mistake” and it did fairly well — garnering 1,399 retweets, 911 favorites and significant media coverage.
Explaining itself in an email to CNBC, which continued the joke, Hostess Senior Director of Marketing Ellen Copaken wrote:[blockquote]”Since embarking on the ‘Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever’ nearly two years ago, Hostess has employed a strategy aimed at contemporizing the brand. The bolder approach has been particularly visible in the brand’s social media platforms. 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.”[/blockquote]
While it’s shockingly easy to bait just about anyone on social media, which is increasingly filled with righteous vultures just waiting swoop in, Hostess handled this intentional mistake deftly and in a manner which worked quite positively for the brand.
The company isn’t the first to deliberately commit a social media error. JC Penney notably employed the technique during the Super Bowl in 2014.