Some people say it’s clever marketing. Others think both the word and the concept are silly. But love it or hate it, “brandter” (when two corporate accounts engage in banter on social media) is a fast growing trend. Here are some examples of what happens when brands call on their sense of humor and get cheeky on the twittersphere…
Kellogg’s and Bounty: We’ve Got Your Mess
Why have your breakfast in a bowl when you can have it all over your face? Kellogg’s-owned Rice Krispies posted this photo of a little girl covered in cereal, tagging Procter and Gamble’s Bounty in the process. Bounty’s response? “@ricekrispies we’ve always got your messes covered!”
Marmite and Bovril: The Battle of the Spreads
What do you prefer on your crackers – salty meat or veggie extract? In December last year, Marmite and Bovril (both owned by Bokomo foods) took to Twitter to find out which of the two brands was more popular in South Africa, in an exchange that became known as the #BattleOfTheSpreads. Here’s how it started:
The #BattleOfTheSpreads succeeded in engaging Twitter audiences, with fans tweeting about their love of both brands. In the end, Marmite declared itself the winner with a total of 1225 followers on Twitter. However, Bovril wasn’t about to go down without a fight:
Sainsbury’s: The Fish Pun Battle
In some cases, “brandter” isn’t an exchange between one brand and another, but rather a conversation between one brand and its customers. This pun battle was set in motion when a customer tweeted at British supermarket Sainsbury’s, but made a seemingly accidental typo: “I tried to buy some battered fish from @sainsburys but it didn’t have a bar cod!” Some have suggested the exchange that followed was a PR setup. But even if it was, it made for entertaining reading and certainly drove visibility for the brand.
It goes without saying that there’s a time and a place for jokes on social media – especially for multinational brands. However, perhaps these examples are a sign of where social media communication is heading. With audiences keen to interact directly with brands on an informal level, maybe “brandter” is something more and more companies will engage in. After all, as well as driving visibility, it allows brands to show off their playful side and stand out from the crowd on social networks – something which is a lot easier said than done.