Hats Off to Arby’s for Twitter Win on Grammy Night

Want to know what I don’t usually associate with the Grammys? Arby’s.

Want to know what I now associate with the 2014 Grammys? Arby’s.

Here’s why. Singer and rapper Pharrell wore a hat to this year’s Grammy Awards. The hat was quite the topic of conversation on social media, even earning its own Twitter account with more than 15,000 followers.

Arby’s took advantage of this opportunity, sending out a simple, smart and awesome tweet.

Nobody would expect a restaurant that makes roast beef sandwiches to be engaged in the Twitter conversation on Grammy night. But Arby’s knows that pop culture events such as award shows generate social media buzz like nothing else. Looking for the opportunity to insert itself into this buzz led to the viral tweet and showcased a humorous, snarky personality that one doesn’t typically associate with the brand.

We saw Oreo employ the same type of real-time marketing at last year’s Super Bowl when the power went out at the Superdome. When the advertising focus is typically on the multi-million dollar commercials, Oreo swooped in and stole the show with this buzz-worthy moment.

Even though they may not seem like a natural fit at first glance, brands should be prepared to join these conversations in a fun and engaging way. Looking for opportunities and taking advantage of them can put a brand in front of a large, captive audience.

Did Arby’s sell more roast beef sandwiches because of this tweet? The jury’s still out. But they did gain Twitter followers, receive praise from other big name brands that were looking to weigh in on the Grammys buzz (Pepsi and Hyundai) and make a lot of folks laugh out loud. And sometimes that’s the best kind of marketing.

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