There’s a saying in the advertising industry about creative work: “The closer the deadline, the better it looks.” That explains these royal baby tweets, which Advertising Age was good enough to plow through and rate on July 22, so we don’t have to.
Human biology being what it is, advertisers had nine months to come up with cool tweets to congratulate Their Royal Highnesses on the birth of another Royal Highness. Even the best results are kinda blah, and the retweet and favorite numbers show it.
By contrast, nobody could have predicted this year’s 35-minute Super Bowl blackout; yet, advertisers rose to the challenge with some topical, witty and much more popular tweets – in mere minutes. That’s real real-time marketing.
The stated purpose of topical tweets is to make people smile and therefore feel good about the brand (it’s called relationship-building) while at the same time sneaking in a product-related message that will remind people of the overall brand advertising.
The Super Bowl Oreo tweet, which reminded viewers you could still dunk in the dark, and Allstate’s tweet from Mayhem, “I meant to turn off the scoreboard. Sorry, everybody. Wrong switch,” did both in minutes’ creation and approval time – and got responses measured in the mid-five digits.
The Royal Baby tweets, not so much:
- Best: Pampers (145 retweets and 113 favorites) – Their tweet, “Every baby is a little prince or princess,” linked to a 30-second YouTube video which implicitly congratulated the royal newborn while explicitly celebrating the birth of all newborns – an ingratiating message to commoner parents, who far outnumber royals and do their own diaper shopping.
- 2nd Best: Oreo (779 retweets and 272 favorites) – Consumers obviously liked this tweet more than Ad Age did. The visual – a baby bottle with an Oreo next to it on a royal purple cushion, while biologically incorrect for a baby who hasn’t reached teething age, is neat and would have worked better without the obvious “Prepare the royal bottle service” tweet and “Long Live the Creme” tag line.
- 3rd Best: Johnson & Johnson (no stats on retweets and favorites) – The photo of a baby in the bath, with the shampoo suds forming a crown, says far more than the bland “Congratulations to the royal couple on their brilliant news” copy could hope to.
- 4th Best: Coke (237 retweets, 87 favorites) follows through on the ongoing Share a Coke campaign, showing Coke bottles labeled “Wills” and “Kate” clinking in a toast, next to some very dispensable copy.
- 5th Best: Magnum Ice Cream (214 retweets, 220 favorites) – Magnum, the British arm of Unilever Ice Cream, is the only strictly UK brand to make Ad Age’s best five. Their product line is divided into Pleasures and Mini Pleasures, so their attached photo, showing a Miniroyal ice cream dessert, works in its home country (and they don’t sell elsewhere, so who cares about the former colonies?).
- 5th Worst: Regus USA (4 retweets, 3 favorites) – No photo, just a tweet saying, “3 ways Regus Businessworld helps new parents like Will and Kate stay close to their families.” As if there weren’t plenty of royal residences suitable for palace-based businesses.
- 4th Worst: Nintendo USA – Incredibly, this tweet and image, based on baby Wii game character Peach, won the popularity contest, with 966 retweets and 502 favorites.
- 3rd Worst: Chobani (8 retweets, 5 favorites) – Someone at the brand thought consumers worldwide had nothing better to do the past nine months than “stress eat” yogurt when they decided to tweet, “Boy oh boy, the wait is over! We can stop the stress-eating now. An empty fridge is no way to celebrate.” What a waste of 140 characters.
- 2nd Worst: Delta (113 retweets, 61 favorites) – Their photo of a baby on its back looking up at a Delta airplane crib mobile and the tweet which welcomes the Prince of Cambridge and tells him, “We can’t wait to show you the world” neglects the existence of an entity called RAF No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron, whose sole function is to fly the royal family everywhere they need to go.
- Worst: Charmin (73 retweets, 21 favorites) – The amazing thing about Charmin’s numbers for this tweet are anywhere above zero. For years, the brand has been running a campaign based on the potty humor of what bears do in the wood, and this photo and tweet (“Get the throne ready! There’s a new cub in the Royal family.) keeps beating a dead bear. Almost, but not quite, makes you nostalgic for Mr. Whipple.
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