Another day, another brand’s Twitter campaign gone horribly awry.
This time it’s Blackberry maker Research In Motion (RIM). The company launched a Twitter campaign asking its followers
to post with the hashtag #BeBold
, telling the world how they planned to #BeBold in 2012.
It’s all part of the company’s Bold Team initiative, which employs cartoon superheroes
that probably don’t even appeal to third graders.
Soon, an embarrassing number of people began using the #BeBold hashtag to criticize RIM. And they haven’t really stopped. Here are a few:
#BeBold Get an iPhone (via)
- I decided to #BeBold and trade in my BlackBerry for an iPhone this month. So far it has been a great switch. Sorry, RIM. (via)
- #bebold, use an android (via)
You get the idea. In a blog post
, RIM had this to say about the promotion:
"We’ve noticed The BeBold Team has received a lot of attention over the last couple of days, and wanted to clarify – this infographic is just intended to be a bit of fun. On New Year’s Eve, we asked BlackBerry Twitter followers and their friends to submit their resolutions on how they plan to Be Bold in 2012. More than 35,000 resolutions streamed across Twitter®, Facebook®, and giant billboards in Times Square. As we looked at the resolutions and the data, majority patterns and categories emerged. We decided to organize the data and share it in a fun way, and the result is the infographic. This is not a new ad campaign."
Last week, McDonald’s grabbed headlines when Twitter users hijacked one of its Twitter hashtags
At some point, companies will learn that creating a hashtag campaign is a risk that isn’t usually worth the reward. Don’t give the general public reason or fodder to hijack your brand. And if you insist on running a hashtag campaign, make sure it’s something you are doing rather than something you aspire to do.
If you’re putting something out there hoping people will say nice things about your brand, you have to assume they will do the opposite.