Six days ago, I told you about a Chipotle Twitter hack. I was looking on their profile, and like many followers, noticed bizarre tweets that indicated the account was likely hacked. Turns out, it was fake. According to Mashable, Chipotle faked its own Twitter account hack.
Here’s what Chipotle representative Chris Arnold told Mashable in a recent interview:
“We thought that people would pay attention, that it would cut through people’s attention and make them talk, and it did that. It was definitely thought out: We didn’t want it to be harmful or hateful or controversial.”
“Food with Integrity”
Chipotle is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a 20-day long treasure hunt called “Adventurito,” which features 20 days of puzzles. Most of the tweets posted were fragments about ingredients, which Arnold said was intended to tie into Sunday’s puzzle about the ingredients Chipotle uses to make guacamole.
“We thought that it really fit well within the context of our 20th anniversary promotion where we were putting clues in all sorts of things,” Arnold said. “We had clues pop up in a lot of places and thought that incorporating something into our social media presence would fit well into that promotion.”
According to Arnold,
Chipotle’s Twitter account added more than 4,000 followers the day of the “hack,”
Chipotle’s Twitter account added more than 4,000 followers the day of the “hack,” compared to its normal rate of adding about 250 followers a day. The supposedly hacked tweets, which have not been deleted, were retweeted about 12,000 times. By comparison, Chipotle’s Twitter account usually sees about 75 retweets per day.
Chipotle isn’t the first company to pull this stunt. MTV and BET did similar things in the past to boost followers. It clearly works, but what kind of taste does it leave in followers’ mouths? Rotten cilantro, if you ask me.
Marketing stunt that works? Sure. But next time it happens, will you be intrigued to check out what’s going on if websites like TweetBrander report on it? Maybe not.
Arnold says it’s unlikely Chipotle will pull a similar stunt anytime in the future.
“It’s certainly not a well you can go to often,” he says.
What do you think? Is it okay for companies to set up fake hacks to draw in followers? Is it worth it? At post time, @ChipotleTweets has 242,966 followers. Is 4,000 followers (a few of whom we assume have unfollowed the account) truly worth pulling the wool over users’ eyes? Sure they used it as an element of their anniversary treasure hunt, but it’ll be interesting to see if people fall for it if they choose to try again in the future.
Either way, we send a H/T Chipotle’s way. Their burritos are ridiculously good. Much better than their attempts to get us to follow.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic.