This week Hostess tweted a picture of a new “baseball” cupcake in honor of the beginning of the MLB season. I thought the cake was clever (not that I would be caught dead eating one) but the caption to go along with it, “Touchdown” was an obvious attempt to be intentionally stupid though not everyone got the joke. Reactions ranged from confused (“I can’t tell if this is a joke..”) to critical (#fail) to condescending (“slam dunk of a tweet”). Apparently, this is a new brand awareness strategy designed to generate engagement via social media. Other brands have tried this as well. Earlier this year Monster.com tweeted congratulatory wishes to Seattle for winning the Super Bowl even though they didn’t. The result was a 1700% increase in engagement compared to its posts on a normal Sunday.
Personally, I think it’s a bad idea to make yourself look stupid just to get people talking because you really can’t count on everyone getting the joke. It’s a dangerous game to play when your brand is at stake but then again if people are willing to eat this then I suppose they will swallow just about anything.