Planters recently learned this the
hard way when its “Death of Mr. Peanut” and “Baby Nut”
campaign were derailed earlier this month after Twitter announced it would
suspend three Baby Nut accounts that had begun posting memes about the new Mr.
Peanut, following its Super Bowl series-esque commercials.
Individuals or companies creating multiple accounts that perform the same purpose violates Twitter’s policy on spam and platform manipulation.
According to Insider, Planters
believed their strategy to create and manage three accounts that would share
memes about the new Baby Nut was within Twitter’s terms of service:
“As we prepared to launch Baby Nut, we knew our fans would want as much content as they could get. After consulting with Twitter, we launched three meme-sharing accounts (@BabyNutBaby, @BabyNutMemes and @BabyNutLOL) in a fashion we believed was compliant with its terms of service,” Lynne Galia of Kraft Heinz told Insider. “After we went forward, Twitter ultimately decided these accounts were noncompliant. We respect that decision.”
In an era when consumer trust isn’t
exactly skyrocketing, Planters made a major misstep and because it occurred
during the biggest advertising event of the year, the Super Bowl, the misstep
is probably on the minds of any social media follower who picks up a Planters
Ultimately, instead of Baby Nut
becoming a meme for the next generation, the message has become more about how
Planters attempted to manufacture social media engagement by creating accounts
that appeared authentic but were indeed fake. Authenticity and transparency are
the new watchwords for all social media professionals.
PR pros should always plan for the
worst and in this case, the fallout far outweighed the benefits. While Planters
may have hoped the message would be of a rebrand with an adorable Baby Nut,
they have instead created a message that the brand can’t be trusted and is willing
to manipulate consumers to grow their business. And, that’s never a good look
for any brand.