If the Grammys were to award a brand for the best social media marketing move of the night, then Arby's would have definitely won. That's right Oreo, be afraid, be very afraid, as the now well-known tweet: "Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs" has been the talk of social chatter all day and has garnered more than 10,000 retweets and 8,000 favorites in less than 24 hours.
Arby's, a Georgia-based sandwich chain famed for its roast beef, sent out their tweet on the heels of a tweet from @ComplexStyle, making sure that its followers didn't miss out on Pharrell's hat.
It wasn't long before Pharrell replied to Arby's tweet, asking if "Y'all tryna start a roast beef?", which caused this Twitter whirlwind to reach its climax. The sandwich chain then retweeted the Grammy Award-winning musician's reply.
"I loved the Arby's tweet. It was topical, but more important there was a direct link to Arby's brand equity and the tonality was consistent with the brand," says Catherine Davis, president of digital agency Vizeum Americas.
"Pharrell's response keeps the conversation going, which is the real power of social media," she adds.
Arby's Twitter buzz proves that the sandwich shop knew how to make the most of a trending hashtag, #Grammys, and create content that interacted with consumers through pop culture. With regard to how other brands can learn from Arby's Grammys experience and real-time marketing, Davis suggests that brands should be cautious and prepare early for upscale media events.
"There is a bit of serendipity to what brand or event will capture people's imagination, but brands can be prepared by identifying key high-profile media events that reach their target audience," says Davis.
"Do some scenario planning to have potential tweets ready, and make sure the right client/agency team is on call to capitalize on unexpected opportunities, like Pharrell's hat."
With the Grammys opportunity just gone and Super Bowl 2014 soon to come, let's see who will be the next Arby's...or Oreo. Watch this space!
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Yuyu Chen is an Editorial Intern at ClickZ. Her work has appeared in Local East Village, New York Daily News and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce website. Yuyu received her M.A. in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University in May, 2013.
March 19, 2014