This week sees the opening of “The World’s First Tweet Shop”; Kellogg’s Special K are innovatively launching their new savoury crisp range with a shop which enables you to tweet about their product as a form of payment. And I’ve got to say, I’m impressed. The best marketing techniques are those that are so mind blowingly simple it seems ridiculous that no one’s thought of them before. Free samples are nothing new, go to a big city on a summer Saturday and you can practically fill your bags with free stuff, people love free stuff. People, however, also love to be involved in something. And companies LOVE free advertising.
To run a Twitter campaign as big as this could cost thousands, and that’s without adding the cost of street hand out samples. To combine the two; fabulous, engaging and viral. Like I said, genius, really. I hope whoever came up with it is getting a hearty pat on the back.
It does, however, raise the question, is it a desirable use of Twitter? Twitter’s open policy on free speech is pretty clear, but will it make people switch off if becomes a constant stream of clever advertising ploys rather than honest and open conversation? Usually to engage with a brand you have to actively follow them, but this is stealthy. Should Twitter be used in this blatant way, or should brands be being responsible about letting natural conversation happen?