Friday, January 31, 2014

The 'real winner' at the Grammys was Arby's?!

Give me a break.

I can’t stand how news outlets feel the need to sensationalize everything.

Case in point: this week’s marketing/social media pubs.
Subject: An Arby’s tweet out to singer/song-writer Pharrell Williams.

In case you missed it:
Cute, right?

Sure. But Arby’s was by no means the 'real winner' at the Grammys simply because they tweeted about a hat. They didn't 'slay' anything! (Yea, those are how some of the headlines are phrasing it).

It was a reasonable association between brand and fashion statement.
It was on-point, cute, comical, and timely. I’ll give them that.

But, oh wow – the interaction went exactly as you’d hope one in twitter would.

Let’s be honest. Brands can be a PAIN to follow. Always talking about themselves – what’s new in THEIR world, why THEY’RE the greatest. Sort of like the worst humans you follow, right?

And try as they might to be cute and creative (some undoubtedly doing better than others), it all eventually boils back to self-promotion.

Because that’s what BUSINESSES (have to) do.

Arby’s is (still) just a fast food enterprise. 

Are we supposed to tip our hats to Arby’s (pun INTENDED) because in this particular instance, their aim was not directly business related or self-promotional?

…Because it felt human?

Why not just follow more humans!?

I wonder,
  • How many new followers did it provide Arby’s? 
  • What will happen with retention when they go back to non-stop product pitching? 
  • And most importantly, how many more Beef ‘n Chedds did it sell?

You’re thinking, “Alright, grandpa – you are WAY too young to be this cynical about brands interacting on social media!”


OK, maybe I am being a bit too harsh.

We’re all marketers, learning to walk the social media tightrope together. The exposure cost seconds to place and pennies to craft, so who can argue with opportunity cost?

It’s just that so many other brands have done it before – they’ve broken character, provided modest laughs, we all move on.

It’s not a new tactic, just Arby’s turn to hit the tenderly-tossed softball!

And just to be clear, I’m not against brands getting cheeky with customers online.

Tweets from businesses can be casual and conversational. They can be cynical, callous, or coy. They just have to jive with the brand they represent.

Of all communication channels, social media is the most anthropomorphic. It should be your brand, PERSONIFIED!

But just like the best characters in literature, movies, and TV, I expect solid, thought-out, consistent (twitter) character development!

Not loose comedy, once in a million tweets.

Ya with me!?

-Daniel :)

 PS: and pubs, don’t give me that bull about it being a “slow news week” – we’re DAYS away from Marketing’s biggest stage! (rants and raves on Super Bowl strategies to come)

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