June 29, 2012

Big Brands Creating Buzz

There’s been a lot of buzz in the media lately about big brands who are taking to advertising and social media as a way to express their corporate viewpoints and opinions. Many might argue that these big brands are participating in risky behavior. When you have millions of fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter alike and are broadcasting advertisements for millions to see, chances are high that your brand will generate both applause and dissent. In an age where breaking news is never further then a click, share, and post away, can creating controversy be considered a marketing tool? Let’s look into two brands who are exploring this very question.

On the night of Monday June 25th Oreo surprised their 26 million Facebook fans by posting a photo of an Oreo cookie stuffed with seven layers of rainbow frosting in honor of Gay Pride Month. The caption with the photo read, “Proudly Support Love!” In the four days that the photo has been present on Oreo’s timeline it has received 276, 727 likes, 53, 646 comments, and 86, 542 shares. “Kraft Foods has a proud history of celebrating diversity and inclusiveness. We feel the OREO ad is a fun reflection of our values. There has been a lot of buzz about the image, and it shows how relevant OREO is to people even after 100 years,” said Basil Maglaris, associate director of corporate affairs for Kraft. The feedback on the photo has been greatly mixed, receiving comments such as “I’ll never buy Oreos again.” to “Awesome! I’ve decided to go on an Oreo diet!” Regardless of negative feedback, analysts at Radian 6 reported that 81% of the responses across all social media sites were positive. Oreo’s page has also gained another one million Facebook fans in the four days since the picture was posted.

Another brand creating waves over expressing their opinion is Denny’s. In a recently run television advertisement, the company set out to explain some of the reasons why America is so great. Among these reasons they mention the right to bear arms, otherwise known as the hotly debated second amendment. The advertisement has a lighthearted and fun tone which has some speculating that they aren’t entirely serious; however conservatives and gun enthusiast alike are thrilled with Denny’s. The YouTube video of the spot has been flooded with positive feedback praising Denny’s and promising to eat there more often. “Awesome ad! I just heard you guys are actually supporters of my rights, I’ll be coming to Denny’s more.” one commenter wrote. However, there is no doubt that those with a negative viewpoint of the second amendment will soon put up a fight against the advertisement.

Although there is no shortage of controversy when it comes to brands publicly making a bold social or political statement some would argue that this type of attention, be it good or bad, can essentially be spun into a marketing strategy. Both of these brands released materials that quickly gained a lot of attention and thrust their brands in the spotlight. The exposure came with loads of support and thousands of consumers swearing to be faithful to these brands because of the opinions they expressed. Brands in this position would be smart to take advantage of the limelight while they have it to further re-enforce their value to consumers. Although it’s impossible to please your entire fan base and you are sure to encounter resistance along the way, big brands that stand up for what they believe in are sure to gain respect and maybe a few more fans along the way.

Contributed by Nicole Juliano

One Comment

  1. Jason Boies   July 3, 2012 9:45 am / Reply

    Thanks for mentioning our recent blog post about the “Rainbow Oreo” reaction, gang. I took quite a bit of time going through posts manually and making certain sentiment was tagged accurately. I appreciate you giving us a mention. :)


    Jason Boies
    Community Engagement, Radian6

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