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11th February 2021

Eyes on the PRize: Weetabix becomes the talk of Twitter for less than a fiver

For the first Eyes on the PRize instalment of 2021, Marc Luther Thomas takes a look at the Weetabix/Heinz post which went viral this week…

Businesses of all sizes have been forced to think creatively as a result of lockdown. With many of us remaining confined to our homes, many plans will have been delayed or shelved entirely, while the economic impact of the pandemic has restricted the budget of many an organisation. Marketing strategies have thus been rewritten time and time again in a very short period.

Step up then, Weetabix, to show the competition how to achieve mass social engagement at a cost of little more than the change in your pocket:

I’m obviously being facetious here. I can’t profess to know how much of the marketing pros’ time at Weetabix, Heinz and their respective agencies a fiver is likely to earn.

It has made me wonder, though, whether this content is a product of being stuck at home during lockdown. I hope that someone over at Weetabix was trawling through their cupboards in search of a nice brekky, with a brief sighting of a months-old tin of beans leading to them having an epiphany (and hopefully a hefty pay-rise now, too). I would love that to be true.

What can’t be denied, however, is that discussing food on social media, particularly when images of said food are included, is often conducive to strong engagement. Pages such as ‘Rate my Plate’ and ‘Rate my Takeaway’ have amassed huge followings and it never fails to amaze me how vociferous people can be when sharing their opinions on the culinary preferences of others.

This extends to even the simplest of things the vast majority of us consume pretty much daily. A football-esque tribalism is evoked in people to the point where they simply can’t help themselves voicing their displeasure that someone has their toaster on a marginally higher setting than them.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about Beansgate™ is that other major organisations did a chunk of the heavy lifting for them. Accounts ranging from the NHS, National Rail and Virgin Atlantic through to the likes of Dominos, Amazon Prime Video and even Tinder were straight there to get in on the banter, bringing with them their respective sizeable Twitter following.

A particular favourite of mine was the response from Specsavers, and I enjoyed seeing this take from Helen Gradwell – who put the post together – with an insight into life as a social media marketeer in the COVID-19 era:

I’m looking forward to seeing further content/memes coming out of this. I just implore any brands who want to jump on this trend to do so quickly and originally, before it dies out. You don’t want to become a social media has-bean.