News & Insights

Brand social media marketing campaigns – do you love them or hate them?

Brand social media marketing campaigns – do you love them or hate them?

Last week saw two British food staples make a splash on social media as Weetabix and Marmite got the Twittersphere talking. The former stunned the world with its baked bean combo, while the latter introduced the nation to its new chilli-flavoured extract.

Weetabix’s simple, yet highly effective, campaign set out to provide followers with a talking point and some light relief, while Marmite produced a clever billboard campaign as a promotional marketing tool. Yet why is it that one had received headlines across a broad range of media and received 133,000 likes on Twitter, and the other minimal headlines and fewer than 5,000 likes?

On pure shock factor alone Weetabix had the upper hand, however the real news generating aspect was the way that other brands ambushed the story, engaging with one another and elevating the story to a whole new level. In fact, over 140 organisations engaged with the post, with the wholly organic offering leaving Weetabix unsurprisingly “thrilled” with the results.

Given its limited geographical reach, Marmite’s OOH marketing campaign required a well-executed social strategy to spread the story. Undoubtedly inspired by its breakfast buddy’s good work, the yeast extract went chasing the brand engagement too, but achieved minimal breakthrough and came across, well…. a little desperate.

M&S, Specsavers, Lidl, Spotify, Uber and even the Grand Tour were all targeted by Marmite’s social team in a somewhat cringeworthy attempt to ‘go viral’. Although stimulating one or two brand responses, it fell flat in what it was very clearly trying to achieve.

When operating on a social platform where your brand is represented in a very public manner, authenticity becomes key. In most cases, consumers follow brands because they like and respect that company. Social platforms allow brands to show their human side, interact with their followers, and have fun within the boundaries of their company guidelines. If done effectively it can positively change or improve perceptions of that brand.  

However, when the escapism offered by social media becomes overshadowed by a brand’s all-to-obvious desire to ‘go viral’ or ‘to be liked’ consumers can see right through it. Clever campaigns do the talking for themselves without forcing others to ambush it. It’s a fine line, but one that is driven by a carefully considered strategy with clear objectives. Get it wrong and you’ll not just end up with beans on your cereal, but you’ll have egg on your face too!

Whether in PR or sponsorship activation, at SQN we understand the importance of generating campaigns that enhance reputations, build relationships and ultimately increase revenue. If you’d like to discuss how we can help you to achieve this then contact us at