Make sure to check out the relatively new idea of brand vs brand battles on Twitter. Previously a direct interaction with your competitors was taboo and brands veered away from any public battle. However, last year we saw one of the first brand vs brand public challenges on Twitter, when Kit Kat challenged Oreo to a friendly game of X’s and O’s. Interestingly this was instigated by a fan of both brands. More recently, there have been another couple of notable examples, with O2 at the forefront of this type of activity. Early in July, O2 engaged in playful banter on Twitter with Innocent Drinks and Tango and followed this up a few days later with a rap battle with Tesco Mobile.
On one hand, O2 must be commended for having the courage to embrace the absolute essence and immediacy of the Twitter platform, delivering real time spontaneous engagement. However, in an attempt to show their personality, these engagements had a very obvious undertone; a corporate body striving to self-promote with a hashtag #bemoredog and associate with brands which had already positioned themselves well with younger audiences. In our view, the other brands came out better than O2 in the Twitter battles, coming across as more genuine and personable. Unfortunately the O2 Twitter campaign failed to capture the imagination of those they were trying to target and a limited number of retweets were recorded, the majority of which were negative in sentiment. This begs the question; do brand vs brand real time battles only work for the more irreverent brands? Can a corporate brand credibly gain traction by pitting itself against brands that a youth audience admire?
Nevertheless, we believe this type of communication has the potential to open up all sorts of brand possibilities. It relinquishes the traditional gentleman’s agreement of not discussing another brand in public, in favour of attracting and engaging an audience that thrives on immediacy and instant gratification from brands. In this new marketing battleground, no brand has mover advantage and new brands can compete head to head with more established entities. With a well crafted strategy which has a clear tone of voice, and which aligns itself appropriately with its audience, there are points to be scored and new audiences to be won. Let the battle commence.
What do you think? Tweet @VizeumIreland with your say.