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Yesterday the Twitter account of British model Katie Price was ‘hijacked’ in what turned out to be a PR stunt for Snickers.
A series of tweets discussing the Eurozone debt crisis, and calling for ‘large scale quantitative easing in 2012’ had many of her 1.5m followers initially guessing she’d been hacked.
However, the four tweets were swiftly followed by one that clarified the issue; “You’re not you when you’re hungry @snickersuk #hungry #spon” – which also contained a link to the photo above of Price holding up a Snickers bar.
Nothing else was said on the matter other than a curt: “I have not been hacked at all”.
Many brands wouldn’t be brave enough to try something like this (most limit themselves to pouring investment into a Sponsored Tweet – or settle for a hashtag competition and creating a page), so this is certainly imaginative.
There’s also a certain amount of kudos that should be dealt out to Miss Price for being good-humoured enough to let this happen. But then again, it’s likely to have come with a reasonable fee.
But is the message really a good one? In this set-up, eating a bar of Snickers returns Price to her usual ‘self’. One which is suggested be unintelligent and ‘shallow’ (as picked up by some tweets at the time). Should the brand really be suggesting that eating its product does such a thing?
It’s easy to nit-pick. Is there such a thing as a perfect stunt? Perhaps, but let's not forget that this intended to be tongue-in-cheek. Whether she’s happy to laugh at herself or has just paid off, it’s no skin off Price’s nose since insulting her intelligence is nothing new – and it got people talking.
Twitter was also central to another debate around false identity over the weekend, as it emerged that the @OfficialGlitter profile was not really one belonging to Gary Glitter – but part of a ‘social media experiment’ that aimed to highlight the access people had to children’s social media accounts.
Though true in part, this really wasn’t the best way to highlight the issue - Glitter’s name alone was enough to cause a stir. The Tumblr blog explaining the reasoning behind the 'experiment' has now been deleted, as well as many of the tweets from the profile.
An account apparently belonging to Rupert Murdoch’s wife Wendi Deng was accidentally verified as official a few weeks ago, and the fake @ShippamsPaste also came to fame late last year. With very little room to manoeuvre in terms of using Twitter creatively and the site's application-based verification program shut down – is there more of this to come?