Social Creative: piggy-backing on trending Tweets, Decepticon edition
The new Transformers film blew away the box office competition this weekend, bringing in $372 million around the globe, the third-biggest take ever for a summer blockbuster opening. It’s hard to know what part the barrage of #Transformers Tweets played in the success of TF3, but one thing is clear: the dark art of piggybacking on the success of a buzz-worthy Hollywood flick is alive and well.
Take British designer fashion brand Burberry, for example. One of the flick’s actresses rocked up to the Transformers première wearing a Burberry gown and the brand wasted no time in taking credit for her attire, posting a picture of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in said dress on their Twitter account, including the #Transformers tag.
In a similar but more tenuously-linked vein, CreditLoan.com got in on the action by making an astute fiscal observation on the price of movie tickets, punctuating the tweet, of course, with the all-important #Transformers tag.
And why not? When Transformers was released last week, #Transformers spiked remarkably, so taking advantage of a widened audience makes perfect marketing sense, right? Especially if, like Burberry, there’s a fairly direct relationship between the popular hashtag and the brand you’re trying to flog. We’ve seen examples in the past of brands jumping on trending topic bandwagons for the sake of a quick buck (such as Habitat’s poor use of Middle-Eastern conflicts to push a sale, or designer Kenneth Cole referring to Egyptian civil unrest to promote his new clothing range), but here we have brands topically aligning themselves, quite legitimately, with bigger brands, in order to bump themselves up in the rankings.
But is this foul play? While Burberry is no doubt more than keen to ride the coattails of a huge Hollywood blockbuster, how does the Transformers franchise feel about the brand feeding on its success? Conversely, of course, Burberry’s use of #Transformers in its tweets may well reach an audience otherwise unfamiliar with the film, and Paramount can’t shake its head at that.
Certainly, as long as Twitter remains a vociferous platform for freedom of speech, very little could be done to counteract this hashtag piggybacking even if Paramount did take exception. However, as Twitter is all about conversations and dialogue, surely even the Decepticons and Autobots could agree on the old mantra that any publicity is good publicity. No?