Oreo’s viral, “You can still dunk in the dark” tweet not only opened the door to the popularity and potential for Twitter, it let in hordes of advertisers. And, as everyone knows, there’s no getting rid of them. Just as people like to buy, but they don’t like to be sold to; Twitter fans aren’t crazy about being inundated with prepackaged, crafted cleverness. When Kellogg tried to replicate Oreo’s success during the Oscars with their own attempt at humor, they flopped. So will every other attempt by every other company. You just can’t replicate authenticity.
Oreo’s successful tweet during the Super Bowl blackout went viral because it was the one of the first times a major company tweeted a funny, natural response to a live event. In other words, it was real because it was genuinely funny and timely. Larger companies saw it went viral and are now going to try to rush in with ad hoc, scripted ads in attempt to replicate Oreo’s success. But that defeats the uniqueness. The tweets stop being spontaneous and start being ads again. That makes us lose interest. Congratulations to Oreo for their viral tweet, it will be tough for other large companies to pull it off in the same way. But there is an opportunity here for entrepreneurs and small-business owners.
Small-business owners can do targeted timely advertising on Twitter. When people start tweeting that their Internet host is down (think about the GoDaddy.com crash a few months back), smart entrepreneurs can immediately start tweeting out that their hosting service is up. It may be the perfect time to persuade a few new customers to come your way. Oreo has taught us that people respond to anomalies, and the small-business owner can make these into great marketing opportunities.
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