So over the Thanksgiving weekend there were two big ‘stories’ being covered by all the ‘entertainment’ blogs and bouncing around Twitter. The first was where a guy got on a plane and claimed to have gotten in a ‘feud’ with another passenger. He detailed how she was mean and inconsiderate, then proceeded to bully her with a series of notes that he took pictures of and said he sent her. Then later it was ‘revealed’ that the woman actually had cancer, and that the guy had made her miss her connecting flight, and Thanksgiving dinner, which might very well be her last.
Then later it was also ‘revealed’ that the guy made the whole story up. Still with me?
A day or two later, a supposed comedian got into a Twitter ‘war’ with what we were led to believe was Pace Picante’s Twitter account. This led to a series of embarrassing DMs from the brand, a few employees getting ‘fired’, then the brand shutting down its Twitter account.
Then the revelation that no, wait, it wasn’t Pace Picante at all, it was another unknown comedian that was ‘pranking’ the first one.
We all must have been bored as shit last weekend.
Unfortunately, the popularity of Twitter has led to some people simply creating drama to draw attention to themselves (and by extension, get them bunches of followers). Double-unfortunately, these antics are always prime to get coverage on hundreds of blogs that are desperate to hit their 10-a-day quota for new posts.
Now we’re upping the game with complete hoaxes. Or hoaxes within hoaxes, as we saw when one guy’s hoax about an inconsiderate passenger took an unexpected turn when she ‘got’ cancer. Which led to the guy mocking the people that followed him on Twitter for basically believing she had cancer without checking.
These stunts are exactly why brands are scared to death of using social media. Thanks to a couple of guys trying to make a name for themselves, there are now literally thousands of blog posts and articles out there claiming that Pace Picante is totally clueless when it comes to Twitter. When the reality (apparently) is that they had nothing to do with this. Will all these bloggers that wrote a quick 200-word post on how ‘clueless’ Pace was, update their posts and clarify that it was all a hoax? A few will, but most won’t.
But the damage is pretty much done for Pace-Picante. We always talk about how brands need to be ‘more human’. Sometimes we ‘humans’ do too.