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Tweeting Without Mittens: JCPenney’s Super Bowl Gamble

Oreo set the precedent for brands last year during the Super Bowl with their “Power Out” tweet, which was tweeted and retweeted more than 16,000 times when the lights went out at the New Orleans Super Dome. Real-time, reactive, relevant content became a must for brands during the Super Bowl. Oreo’s tweet was the topic of news stories, blogs and content from owned media gurus across the country. The bar had been set.

JCPenney certainly put out a few tweets during the 2014 Super Bowl that got some notoriety. If you saw these, you know what I am talking about:



JCPenney blamed the typos on tweeting with mittens – apparently a campaign to drive attention to their Go USA Mittens that retail for $14 ($9.99 on sale). However, speculation on Twitter was that JCP got hacked, or they were drunk. Following the conversation on Twitter, a drunk JCPenney staff was the general consensus.

One brand who jumped into the conversation? Kia, who sent this tweet:

“Hey @jcpenney need a designated driver?”

This was brilliant on Kia’s part. Not because they joined into the online conversation making fun of JCP’s apparently drunk staff. And not because it happened when the conversation around JCPenney’s tweets was at its peak, therefore making it extremely relevant to the audience. This well-timed, funny tweet tied back to the brand. Kia addressed something that was going on in real time, took the audience and popularity of JCP’s tweets, and turned the focus of that audience back to their own brand.

Someone on Kia’s staff had to be focused on monitoring online conversation – not just as it related to Kia or the Super Bowl, but looking at trending topics where there were high levels of engagement.

Snickers, Coors Light and other brands got in on the real-time response action too.

This is the exact approach brands should be taking on a daily basis – not just during a high-profile event, but day in and day out. Look at the conversation on a brand’s own channels, as well as the conversation on the World Wide Web as a whole. Look at topics that relate to the brand as well as trending topics that can be drawn back to the brand and the brand’s mission. Then, based on these conversations, create the proper content to capitalize on those conversations in order to grow and engage audience.

Does your brand do this? If not, contact us at Raidious. We help brands monitor online dialogue every day in an effort to create better content, participate in real-time conversations and draw people back to the brand.

 At the very least, my advice would be to take the mittens off when tweeting. No one wants to mistake your brand as being drunk.

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