| Branding, Social Media

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You just can’t escape the fact that Twitter has had a profound effect on marketing strategies.


Hashtags, those things that #looklikethis, started with Twitter. They are now in use on Facebook and other places, but Twitter is what started and still dominates the world of hastags. It amuses (annoys?) me that there is now a #hashtag displayed over the picture during so many televsion shows, sports events and other programs. For some programming it does seem to draw in audience participation in a way that was previous unheard of.

Also as you see ads on TV or in print, that use hashtags in addition to Twitter handles to try and engage viewers.

#WhatTheL Twitter Avatar for StaplesNow Staples is doing a marketing stunt that relies heavily on Twitter and hashtags.

They’ve changed their avatar on Twitter to highlight the use of their #WhatTheL hashtag. They kept their bright red corporate color, but changed to a text-based rendering of the hashtag.


Tweets from the public become marketing

Staples is running a promotion that they’ve marked with the #whattheL hashtag. They’ve removed the “l” from their logo and using that place to highlight the fact that they’re “so much more than office supplies.”

When I heard about the Staples campaign, I went to their web site to check it out. This is what I saw:

Stap es #WhatTheL campaign screen shot.Look at that Twitter feed. I’m guessing it was pulled in via the hashtag, but the Tweet says: “Never shopping at @Staples again #WhatTheL” I looked back at the Twitter user’s timeline and it’s unclear if he meant to be negative or funny. That is the problem with the written word, especially when condensed to less than 140 characters. But it certainly doesn’t make Staples look good.

As another example, there was ad that ran in the New York Times that was just a Film Reviewer’s Tweet. The public can now write your copy for you, 140 characters at a time, but do you want them to?

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