23.03.2016 Ten times brands owned Twitter

As you’re probably aware by now, Twitter turned 10 this week. The world’s second-largest social media site is, of course, a great place to get the latest news, opinion and gossip.

But it has also become a vital platform for companies to reach out to existing and potential customers, with many employing innovative tactics to gain attention and get their content noticed.

Here, we take a look at some the most successful and eye-catching PR and marketing tactics employed by brands over the last decade.

Arena 1

Arena Flowers found its traditional approach to social marketing only achieved limited success. After all, there’s only so much you can say about flowers, and multiple puns based around the word ‘blooming’ soon get boring. So in 2011 the online florist adopted an alternative strategy, deciding to use humor to attract followers. The comedy account is now manned by three writers and receives hundreds of retweets a day for gems including this happy birthday Twitter tweet:

Arena 2


Betfair Poker’s approach to Twitter is to avoid tweeting anything remotely poker-related, instead tweeting a stream of random content. Despite this, the account boasts over 27,000 followers. Betfair’s Twitter success relies on word of mouth, with its followers compelled to retweet the amusing, irreverent and often irrelevant posts.


Paddy Power has combined cheeky sporting gags with useful betting tips to gain over 200,000 followers. The account gains particular momentum when live-tweeting sporting events, especially football, where it often pokes fun at the on-field action, the fans and the players (especially their haircuts).


Drinks company Innocent adopts an inoffensive approach to social media, matching its name with harmless content that’s family-friendly and good-humoured. Without marketing itself too strongly, Innocent engages with its customers in a friendly and relatable manner. Using a combination of Dad-jokes, cute animal pictures and brand-related visuals, the social media team aims for retweetable posts that will make people smile.


Toilet paper company Charmin launched the humourous Twitter hashtag #TweetFromTheSeat to take advantage of the frankly shocking number of people who use social media in the bathroom. Defying the unglamorous and mundane nature of its product, Charmin found wild success on Twitter. The company has been steadily increasing its following with toilet-related Tweets.


Audi’s #WantAnR8 campaign has been hailed as one of the most successful hashtags in Twitter’s history. After Twitter user Joanne McCoy tweeted Audi US using the hashtag in early 2011, the company showed up at her Washington D.C. home with a brand-new sports car for the day. Fans have since used the hashtag over 75,000 times as Audi continues to select people to drive an R8 for a day.


American department store JCPenney caused a stir during the Super Bowl when seemingly ‘drunk’ tweets came from its account. The garbled messages were quickly noticed and retweeted by thousands who assumed it to be a social media blip. JCPenney finally admitted it was #TweetingWithMittens during the game. The marketing stunt worked, creating more buzz than the eye-watering amounts paid by bigger brands for actual commercial spots during Super Bowl.


Domino’s Pizza UK persuaded fans to get involved in its Twitter campaign where it offered cheaper pizza in return for tweets. In a bid to boost lunchtime orders, it lowered the price of a Pepperoni Passion pizza every time someone tweeted the hashtag #LetsDoLunch. After 85,000 tweets, the price dropped from £15.99 to £7.74, allowing more diners to enjoy ‘a pizza the action’ (sorry).

 Red Bull

  1. #PutACanOnIt, Red Bull

This campaign was inspired by a photo the company found on Twitter of a user holding a Red Bull can against a Mini Cooper to replicate the trademark Red Bull car. The trend exploded over the world as people began creating their own images with Red Bull cans placed in unique positions. The campaign won Red Bull the prestigious “Best Use of a Hashtag” Shorty Award.


For several years Coca-Cola has been producing bottles and cans with labels that read “Share a Coke With…”, with each one having a different name. Coca-Cola turned this into a Twitter campaign by encouraging customers to tweet their own stories with the #ShareACoke hashtag. We’re still looking for the ‘Brighter Comms’ can…

Yesterday we laughed (and cringed) at some of Twitter’s most memorable gaffes. Check back for more of our blogs celebrating the anniversary throughout this week.

We’ve written extensively about Twitter on our blog. Here is a selection of some of our recent entries:

– Twitter: The timelines they are a-changin’ 

– Twitter verification: The power of the little blue tick 

– Super-sized tweets; Is Twitter set to extend character limit to 10,000 to expand its user base? 

– Meet Moments, Twitter’s latest move to attract and engage new users 

– Brands: Are your social media policies fit for Twitter?