Marketing is often at its most creative and edgy when it plugs into a hot topic or trend on what people are thinking. In the case of Pringles' 'The Oversharers' campaign it's annoyance at dull updates on Facebook, irrelevant Tweets and people sharing things that are 'totally ridiculous' online.
In terms of reflecting a popular trend, the campaign certainly appears to hit the proverbial nail. But in asking people to expose their friends' boring updates publicly, does it go too far?
People can engage with the campaign in a variety of ways, such as posting their friends' Tweets (e.g. 'long sleeves make my arms itch' and 'LOL!! A pigeon!') and downloading a Facebook app for flagging offending updates. It even has an online store where people can buy personalised T-shirts and mugs which they can send to 'oversharing' friends as 'a friendly reminder of the tripe they write'.
Whilst the campaign is aimed at promoting Pringles' crisps as something that's 'really worth sharing', you have to wonder whether this campaign will backfire.
Pringles likes to portray itself as a fun, friendly brand that helps bring people together. But I'm not sure this will be people's impression when they receive a message from Pringles telling them that their updates are boring? I fear this campaign could leave a trail of broken Facebook friendships in its wake.
Viral marketing with Twitter
On the plus side, Pringles' campaign does show how Twitter can be used as part of a viral marketing strategy. With user engagement now a key component of online campaigns, persuading people to Tweet about your brand is an excellent way of encouraging people to engage and get involved.
Persuading people to Tweet about your campaign achieves two main objectives:
- It enables you to collect together Tweets about your campaign which you can post to a wall on your campaign website. This helps build a sense of community and user involvement in your campaign
- It helps to spread your campaign virally - when people see the topic appearing in their Twitter feed they'll (hopefully) be intrigued to find out what the fuss is about and visit your campaign website before Tweeting about it themselves
Often the excitement of seeing your Tweet appear on the campaign's website can be incentive enough (as shown on our Cobol.com anniversary website) for people to get involved. Running competitions and offering prizes for inventive Tweets can be a greater incentive.
One thing to remember is that Twitter is a social medium, with people's messages exposed to friends and followers. So it's sensible to run Twitter campaigns that encourage positive messages and engagement that brings people together, rather than pushes them apart.