#TechnologyAndStuff – Real-Time Marketing, Turning A Negative Into A Positive.

Chevrolet takes advantage of World Series speech blunder

It may not be one of our stand out social media campaigns for 2014 but poor Rikk Wilde (Chevrolet Sales & Marketing) and his hopelessly disastrous speech at the World Series Baseball shows how a brand can use social buzz to their advantage, even if it is negative. When handing over car keys to the World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner, Rikk (aka Chevy Guy) described the new 2015 Colardo as being full of “technology and stuff.” You’re not seeing things, those are quotation marks. These words were actually said when explaining features on the new car. The head honchos at Chevrolet and General Motors (the parent company) would have been beside themselves as Rikk’s awkward speech went on. I personally felt for Rikk! Speaking in front of a massive crowd at an event such as the World Series Baseball would be extremely nerve racking. Hell, I get nervous speaking in front of 10 people!

Now naturally you’d expect Chevrolet to be the laughing stock of the automotive industry as social media floods with #ChevyGuy and #TechnologyAndStuff hashtags as well as mountains of memes. This is where a bit of marketing genius came to the rescue which really impressed me. Chevrolet decided to take this blunder, and use it to their advantage. Because Rikk’s speech was exploding across the internet, someone thought ‘why don’t we use all this social buzz to our advantage?’ And that person deserves a promotion, because Chevrolet has since adopted the #TechnologyAdnStuff hashtag using it on their Twitter account and even their official website (although it has now been taken off). The tweet below is from Chevy Trucks Twitter page and has seen over 1000 favourites and 1000 retweets, WAY above any other tweet I could see on their page. The main Chevrolet Twitter page and General Motors both retweeted this as well. This a great example of how a brand can turn a negative into a positive just by being on-your-toes and thinking outside the box (apologies for the cliché). I’d love to see the analytics information on Chevrolet’s website from the few days prior to post Rikk’s speech. I’d expect to see a massive spike!

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Some people were saying this was a product placement fail, however I think it has turned out to be quite the opposite. One thing is for sure, Rikk’s speech got a lot of people talking (presumably more than if the speech went according to plan). Although unintentional, Rikk Wilde has become an overnight sensation which Chevrolet and General Motors have capitalized on. Personally, I think it’s great to see a big brand such as Chevrolet not take themselves too seriously and have a bit of fun.

What were your thoughts on Chevrolet’s response? Do you know of any other examples when a brand took something negative and turned it into a positive? 

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