Arby’s Deft Approach To Real Time Social Marketing- or Pharrell’s Hat Is Awesome

Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs
Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs

We watched the Grammys last night, but Diane and I had not planned to be wowed and entertained by a brand taking a real-time opportunity to be nimble and tongue-in-cheek and take the prize for social marketing. Arby’s social media team did a great job reacting in a positive way to Pharrell Williams and the close resemblance of his hat to the Arby’s brand. As of this afternoon Arby’s had over 81,609 retweets 46,489 favorites with the following tweet “Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs” . Genius in more ways than one.

Pharrell and Daft Punk took the stage four times and the Twitterverse had a grand time making fun of his choice of chapeaux. It was opportunistic for Arby’s social marketing team to pivot on this and not only engage on Twitter but manage to get a positive response from Pharrell. It showed a real understanding of their brand and the ability to read a live situation correctly.

That last note is the important point here. Being cheeky and highly visible (by using the #GRAMMYs hashtag) could have been risky. Before going full steam ahead and trying to capitalize on live marketing opportunities:

  • Have a thorough understanding of your brand and your brand’s voice. If the brand you are representing has not established a playful tone, this kind of tweet could run counter to your brand’s image and cause some damage (a quick internet search will pull up some horror stories).
  • Does the event align with your business goals and can it provide positive brand recognition?

Above all else, you have to be a good steward for your brand.

Pharrell

Arby’s managed to opportunistically capitalize on Pharrell’s sartorial choice, and quick thinking with a simple tweet bought some real good will for the brand with digital natives. #YMO

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