Pretty interesting turn of events happened earlier tonight at the Daytona 500. With 40 laps left, the race went under caution, and as usually happens, trucks were on the track to help clear off the debris.
What happened next was totally bizarre. Driver Juan Pablo Montoya was going down the backstretch when suddenly something ‘broke’ and he lost control of his car, sending it flying into one of the trucks on track to clean it. A massive fire was the result, as 200 gallons of jet fuel ignited from the crash.
The mess took over an hour to clean up. Luckily, driver Brad Keselowski had his phone with him, and avidly tweeted during the break, including the above photo, which is the first ever from a NASCAR driver from within his vehicle. Fox said that @Keselowski picked up over 55,000 Twitter followers during the break, and Fox showed him constantly tweeting and the other drivers mentioned it as well.
But while Brad was smart enough to capitalize on the break, Tide literally had the chance of a lifetime fall into their laps, and they missed catching it.
During the process of putting out the massive fire, a ton of material was dumped on the track, creating a huge mess. So how did NASCAR clean up that mess? By bringing out box after box of good ole fashioned Tide detergent. That’s right, Tide got the best product placement in a sporting event since we saw the Nike logo on Tiger Wood’s golf ball just as the ball fell into the cup at the Masters a few years ago.
Unfortunately, @Tide’s Twitter account left it’s last tweet 7 hours prior to its Daytona 500 appearance, and missed a great chance to capitalize on a ton of free exposure that fell in its lap.
Lesson for brands: Social Media monitoring is NOT a 9-5 job. As I said on Twitter, most non-NASCAR fans won’t have any idea what happened tonight, but Tide still missed a great chance to leverage the free exposure NASCAR and Fox gave it.
UPDATE: For bloggers, this is also a good lesson in the value of reporting breaking news. I gained about 120 visitors in 30 mins after publishing this post. Here’s today’s hourly traffic, note the surge at the end of this picture:
The correct spelling of his name is Keselowski.
Mack Collier says
Thank you, just edited it!
James Anderson says
Social Media just keeps on rocking doesn’t it. So many ways you can do things.
Jon Collins says
Plenty talk about it on the Tide Twitter account today, so I think they did just fine. Not sure much was lost by not tweeting about it until this morning.
Mack Collier says
Jon I just got off the phone with ESPN about this story, and told them pretty much the same thing. In this case, not being there last night didn’t hurt them other than a missed opportunity to capitalize on the free publicity.
But if this had been an actual crisis situation where Tide needed to respond ASAP, going 12 hours with no Twitter activity would have been a disaster. Hopefully this will be a wakeup call for Tide that they need to monitor the online conversation around their brand 24/7. It’s baffling to me that a global brand like Tide apparently only has 1 or 2 people looking at its main Twitter account?
Tide is so concentrated. Wonder how many boxes they used to clean the track
Nick Cicero says
Love the post Mack, had a great time interacting with you about this last night. I agree it wasn’t a crisis for Tide, but it was a chance to become a brand superhero so to speak. A few well placed tweets could have got them a lot more exposure on TV, and could have scrambled to create an awesome experience for fans during all the delays.