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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?

Vikki Chowney

Published 23 January, 2012 by Vikki Chowney

Vikki is head of community at TMW. You can follow her on Twitter or Google+

249 more posts from this author

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Ian MacDonald

I think you're reading too much into it - the campaign concept is that snickers makes you feel yourself again by eliminating hunger. Price is 'normally' a bimbo, just as say Stephen Hawking is 'normally' a genius. It doesn't position snickers as making you stupid. I think the whole campaign is great, the only thing I dislike about it is putting more money in Price's already overstuffed wallet.

almost 5 years ago

Vikki Chowney

Vikki Chowney, Head of Social at TMW

@Ian That's my point in paragraph 8 :)

almost 5 years ago

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garley franger

@vikki - well you don't really make it clear so you can hardly say that's my point. Face it - your writing is not up to scratch on this piece. You infer that eating a snicker will make you dumb - not that it will return anyone to their usual state.

almost 5 years ago

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Rebecca Nixon, Brand Executive at The IT Job Board

It just seems rather pointless. Once again, creating 'buzz' and brand exposure has its value, but you're better off selling your product on its ACTUAL merits, not imaginary ones. I mean, does this make you want to buy a Snickers bar? More than anything it's just plain annoying. If you're going to 'hijack' someone's account, you should have a brilliant and honest proposal in place, otherwise it's wasted. Most people I know would unfollow an account for doing something like this - I'd like to know if others feel the same, and if you're seeing some value in this campaign that I've missed..?

almost 5 years ago

Vikki Chowney

Vikki Chowney, Head of Social at TMW

@Rebecca It does seem fairly out of the blue, but Snickers has been running with this creative tagline for a while. Remember the Betty White Superbowl ad from 2010? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTPJYZLD6L8

I wonder if the brand's testing the message in the UK market. Seems not to resonate as well. At least not when it's wrapped up in this package.

almost 5 years ago

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Jamie

I totally agree with Ian, I'm really glad actually to see someone else praising it as I thought it was great.

It's one of the most (if not the most) creative uses of a public figure's social channel by a brand I've seen.

It got great coverage and interaction, with her tweets being RTed into my feed at least 10 times.

Furthermore, I would totally agree with the two commenters above that the whole "this campaign is bad because it's saying Snickers make you a bimbo" argument is stupid. If you think about it for longer than half a second knee jerk reaction length of time, it's actually quite clever.

Perhaps people are letting their opinions of Price get in the way of an imaginative campaign?

almost 5 years ago

Vikki Chowney

Vikki Chowney, Head of Social at TMW

@Jamie As I pointed out to Ian above, I'm actually defending this 'stunt' in my piece. Hence why I've referred to it as both creative, and imaginative. certainly no knee-jerk reaction here.

almost 5 years ago

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Tom

Has nobody seen the Joan Collins Snickers advert? Along the same lines as Betty White, and explains this all very clearly.

Personally, I think someone got carried away at Snickers. What would've been more appropriate is to get Stephen Fry (or someone equally as witty), start him Tweeting some really stupid, nonsensical rubbish - and then introduce Snickers, therefore restoring his IQ. Easy.

almost 5 years ago

Paul North

Paul North, Head of Content and Strategy at Mediarun

I think it belies a lack of respect for your followers to do this. People follow you for what you have to say. If you take money to let others tweet for you to sell their products, this is at the expense of your fans. It's exploitation.

Discuss.

almost 5 years ago

Michelle Goodall

Michelle Goodall, Online PR/Social Media Consultant at EconsultancySmall Business Multi-user

I've worked with Katie Price briefly in the past. She is canny celebrity businesswoman who understands how to monetise her status and is pretty open about her strengths and weaknesses.

I'm not a big fan of Twitter celebrity endorsements but isn't just a natural extension of offline brand endorsement - they seem a bit route 1 to me, but this a little different.

I can only imagine that she weighed up the pros and cons and the endorsement £s outweighed the minor blip to her Twitter output.

@paul it could be seen as exploitative of her fans, but the beauty of Twitter is that it only takes one click to unfollow....

almost 5 years ago

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Clive Holdsworth, Head of Technology at RSA

In the context of Levenson/NOTW and the hacking of celebrity (and teenage murder victim) phone and email accounts, it's interesting that the marketing industry regards a spoof version of the same activity as creative and imaginative. However hilarious and innovative it might have seemed to the creative team, did no one consider that it might backfire disastrously and bring the brand into disrepute through trivialising serious issues of privacy and disclosure.

almost 5 years ago

Peter Leatherland

Peter Leatherland, Online Sales Manager at Ethical Superstore

@Paul – I agree I think it is a bit insulting to your followers, however I think the whole twitter celebrity thing is an insult to people’s intelligence, most have nothing interesting to say and it isn’t really just them talking as a real person, many of them have a PR bod sitting there tweeting for them with the aim of promoting their ‘brand’

I think it is quite a good idea form Snickers to take over the account but it has to be the ultimate expression of selling out. I wouldn’t see any reason in following anyone who is a sell out promoting whatever business pays the most money to talk about them. If I want to see adverts I’ll just turn Sky on :-)

PS @garley franger I think you are being far to harsh and I think you will find she said "eating a bar of Snickers returns Price to her usual self"

almost 5 years ago

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Dan W, Digital Marketing / Ecommerce / Optimisation Professional at Personal

The Katie Price pic reminded me of the Andrea Turner Flake stunt. Not a huge fan.

almost 5 years ago

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nkm198

@garley franger

You commented to Vikki "Face it - your writing is not up to scratch on this piece. You infer that eating a snicker will make you dumb - not that it will return anyone to their usual state."

Pot, kettle – you used 'infer' when you meant 'imply'.

almost 5 years ago

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Syed

There is no easy way to see impact of this campaign for Snickers but wouldn't be as difficult to track the affect on Katie Prices following. Perhaps, she already did note her Fan count before the stunt and few hours after the stunt.

almost 5 years ago

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Jack

Have to say I agree with ian & Garley franger on this one... Poor.

almost 5 years ago

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