Flash mobs - the Twitter way

By Biprorshee Das , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital | March 05, 2012
Marrying the concept of flash mobs with the idea of brand engagement on social media, PepsiCo's orange drink Mirinda has introduced TweetMob, an innovative way to connect with the consumer.

Not too long ago, the country warmed up to the idea of flash mobs and soon, there was one being conducted almost everywhere, every other day. PepsiCo's orange soft drink Mirinda, along with Red Digital, the agency handling the social media duties for the brand, decided to make the most of the craze, designing a unique campaign to engage consumers on Twitter with a concept called 'TweetMob'.

Mirinda Twitter Page

Mirinda Facebook Page

The idea is fairly simple - to throw up a topic at the followers of the brand on Twitter and then encourage them to tweet on the same. Engagement is ensured with comments and conversations on Twitter between the consumer and the brand.

The first TweetMob was launched on February 14 and the topic was 'what leaves you breathless on Valentine's Day'. Twitter users contributed generously with their tweets, using the hashtag #breathless. Notably, the breathless theme was in line with Mirinda's recent Breathless campaign, through which two new flavours of the brand has been launched - Mirinda Orange Masala and Mirinda Orange Mango.

The inaugural TweetMob saw 2,220 tweets in a span of nine hours and fetched Mirinda (@MirindaIndia) 200 new followers on Twitter. The brand featured amongst topics breaking globally at the end of nine hours, while #breathless trended nationally.

According to the numbers provided by PepsiCo, over 50 tweets with #breathless helped the brand reach 2,520 people, which generated 357 retweets, thus averaging four retweets of every tweet by brand Mirinda.

Post the success in the first week, the second TweetMob was announced on February 24 and this time around, the theme was Mirinda's brand thought of 'Pagalpanti', asking people what they thought was crazy enough around them to be called #Pagalpanti.

This time around, the activity saw 3,700 tweets in nine hours, with #Pagalpanti helping the brand reach 7,990 people and generating close to 0.6 million views. The brand reach this time was five times of what the first TweetMob generated.

What is interesting is the fact that Mirinda did not have a presence on social media and it is only with this particular campaign that the brand has ventured into the space. The agency leveraged Mirinda's Facebook presence for this activity, where followers of the brand on the site were urged to join the TweetMob on Twitter.

Yashraj Vakil

Ruchira Jaitly

At the time of filing this report, 165,149 Facebook users liked the Mirinda India page, while @MirindaIndia on Twitter had 418 followers.

Yashraj Vakil, chief operating officer, Red Digital tells afaqs! that the idea came simply by observing the craze around flash mobs and deciding to incorporate the same without the run-of-the-mill idea of what an actual flash mob is.

"We thought of giving a different spin to the idea. With flash mobs, you think of how instantaneous it is. You associate rebellion. We moved away from the song and dance part of it and decided to take flash mobs to where the crowd is online, where you can generate instant opinion and hence this idea of creating a TweetMob," says Vakil.

Ruchira Jaitly, executive vice-president, marketing, beverages (flavours), PepsiCo India is excited too, as she says that at the end of the day, the core idea of the brand is to innovate, whether it is flavours, packaging or communication.

"Twitter is one of the avenues to innovate where brands can engage succinctly in a short period of time. Clearly, flash mob is an idea that mobilises people. And, this idea of ours has worked for us as a brand," she says.

TweetMob will continue for another couple of weeks. The latest topic introduced on March 2 was #MirindaMoments, asking users on Twitter to tweet on their craziest moments with the drink.

Jaitly says that the initiative has helped the brand develop a healthy connect with the consumer, who is more than willing to be a part of the fun that the brand stands for.

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