It’s atypical for brands to comment about other brands, but Starbucks’ red cup controversy has been such a force on social media that many, like Target and Hefty, chimed in anyway. It all started last Thursday, but enough gasoline has been poured on the fire – Donald Trump calling for a boycott, Dunkin Donuts releasing its own “Joy” cup – that #RedCups continued trending this week.
And Starbucks has continued to do a great job dealing with the incident. While the brand has pointedly refused to engage with Trump or acknowledge the “War on Christmas” faction in any way, it’s certainly done its part to subtly keep the conversation going.
Many of Starbucks’ responses to its fans this week have included #RedCups, with the accompanying emoji, of course.
Starbucks wasn’t the only one engaging its followers with branded emojis this week. On Monday, Taco Bell launched its #TacoEmojiEngine, which creates a brand new emoji whenever you Tweet the brand a taco emoji alongside any other one.
The initial announcement got more than 4,000 likes and retweets, and created tons of engagement. Since I started writing this paragraph, Taco Bell has tweeted nearly 40 responses, which gives you a sense of why the brand is so contagious.
For its engine, Taco Bell created more than 600 pieces of unique content. I can’t decide whether my favorite is the knight using a taco to keep a dragon at bay…
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) November 13, 2015
…or the taco standing victoriously over the slice of pizza it knocked out in the boxing ring.
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) November 13, 2015
Simple thanks: not enough to make a splash on Veteran’s Day
Nothing gets brands tweeting quite like a holiday, even if it’s not a particularly festive one, like Veteran’s Day. Holiday tweets are also really easy.
Countless brands tweeted their support at our veterans, thanking them for their service, but that’s not enough to stand out. Southwest Airlines capitalized on the Veteran’s Day buzz by highlighting its partnership with A Million Thanks, a charity that sends handwritten notes to soldiers deployed overseas.
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) November 11, 2015
GMC did something similar, using the promoted #EnlistMe hashtag to raise awareness for its campaign centered on building homes for veterans.
— GMC (@ThisIsGMC) November 9, 2015
Meanwhile, other brands promoted their respective initiatives to help veterans. Starbucks pledges to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses within the next two years, while Lockheed Martin is already there. The aerospace company’s workforce includes more than 22,500 veterans, the highest number of any employer on Monster.com.
— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) November 9, 2015
We can all agree that Starbucks is the winner of Twitter this week, right? The brand also tweeted out reminders that on Veteran’s Day, military personnel and their spouses get free coffee. The coffee giant was far from the only chain showing its appreciation with discounts or freebies. However, many of the others didn’t promote their offers at all on Twitter.
Uber and Lyft didn’t tweet about the free rides they were offering veterans, though they did retweet the announcement from the White House.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 11, 2015
But others like Applebee’s, Little Caesars, Dairy Queen and Denny’s never said anything, which was strange. Strange is kind of Denny’s thing, though, as evidenced by the fact that the brand did tweet this:
what did they do with humpty dumpty’s insides?
— Denny’s (@DennysDiner) November 12, 2015
National Sundae Day brings out bizarre brands
November 11 was not only Veteran’s Day, but National Sundae Day, as well. Not many brands tweeted about that one, presumably because they had no idea National Sundae Day was a thing. But this is a noteworthy trend because the results were so hilariously random.
None of the brands you’d associate with a sundae joined in. Carvel, Ben & Jerry’s, Breyer’s, Friendly’s: nowhere to be found. On the other hand, Vegas.com was all over that.
— Vegas.com (@Vegascom) November 11, 2015
Serendipity is an iconic sweets shop with a location in Caesars Palace. OK, Vegas.com, we see we’re you’re going with that. You get a pass. However, Butterball? Speedo? What?
— Butterball (@butterball) November 11, 2015
— Speedo USA (@SpeedoUSA) November 11, 2015
$ingle$ Day $hatter$ online $hopping record$
In the U.S., we spend November 11 thanking our veterans and wondering what the hell turkey and bathing suits have to do with ice cream. For Chinese consumers, that day is all about shopping.
This Singles Day, Alibaba, broke e-commerce records, raking in the equivalent of $14.3 billion over 24 hours. Throughout the day, Xiaomi was the top seller. The Beijing-based electronics brand had 100 million orders within 12 minutes, and sent many tweets to keep that number going.
— Mi (@xiaomi) November 10, 2015
Chinavision also tweeted its deals, albeit less aggressively than Xiaomi.
— Chinavasion (@chinavasion) November 10, 2015
Alibaba spent the day tweeting a series of jaw-dropping statistics. This year’s Singles Day generated $5 billion in revenue in the first 90 minutes, and last year’s total was surpassed halfway through the day. Starbucks may have won Twitter this week, but Alibaba won the Internet.
— Alizila.com (@Alizila) November 11, 2015
As it prepares for a 2017 IPO that could be the largest in the social media space since Facebook went public in 2012, all eyes are on Snapchat.
What would we do without social media?
Facebook isn't just the world's largest social network. In the past two years, it has also become one of the world's most popular online destinations for consuming video content.
If your responsibilities have anything to do with marketing, advertising, PR or social media, you can’t afford to be camera-shy in this day and age.