Earlier today web agency SapientNitro showed the world how easy it is to trend on Twitter.

The company’s method is flawless, and proves how easy it is to generate lots of noise about a brand.

Here’s the recipe for success. It worked for SapientNitro and will work for you too…

One. Write a corporate anthem. 

Two. Produce a music video.

Three. Release to the world via your Facebook page.

Four. Delete all negative comments on your Facebook page.

Five. Remove the video.

Six. Sit back and watch the tweets flow.

Congratulations, you are now trending on Twitter.

The post-mortem

So that’s how to trend on Twitter. Guaranteed. But was it worth it? Is all publicity good publicity? 

If, like me, you find corporate anthems to be utterly cringeworthy, then you might have struggled to watch it. If you haven’t seen it already then here it is, at least for as long as it is available on YouTube (and I doubt that’s going to be very long at all).

But the creative itself isn’t the issue here. The problem is that unfortunately SapientNitro has taken itself too seriously. By deleting negative comments the agency has opened the door to a shitstorm of tweets along the lines of ‘it doesn’t understand digital’. And that’s the sort of thing no web agency wants to hear.

While you can moderate comments in environments you control, such as Facebook or your company blog, you lose all control once people start talking about your brand in open environments such as Twitter and YouTube. This is SapientNitro’s big headache right now. There are better ways of dealing with comments like those shown below than to just kill them…

By removing the video from Facebook the company has tried to dodge a bullet, but in doing so it suggests that maybe the idea wasn’t such a good one. It cannot play the tongue in cheek card. 

I actually feel a bit sorry for those involved in the production. But for ‘idea engineers’ the concept was sucky from the beginning. Did they not remember the savage and entirely predictable reaction to the Publicis London ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’ video?

Be careful out there, creatives…