The Internet was all aflutter this weekend when it appeared the official Twitter account for Chipotle had been hacked by some funsters out for a web-based joyride. In the span of about an hour the account sent out confusing updates ranging from “Mittens13 password leave” to “end twitter” to the succinct, yet extremely accurate “twitter,” making many people think Chipotle had suffered the same fate Burger King did back in February. In reality, however, they just took a page out of MTV’s playbook.
That’s right. Say it with me. FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE.
Chipotle appeared to be the latest brand to have its Twitter account hacked on Sunday when its main account, @ChipotleTweets, posted a series of confusing and seemingly random tweets over the course of an hour. Now, the company has come forward and admitted that it faked having its account hacked as part of a publicity stunt tied to its 20th anniversary promotional campaign.
“We thought that people would pay attention, that it would cut through people’s attention and make them talk, and it did that,” Chris Arnold, a Chipotle representative, told Mashable in an interview. “It was definitely thought out: We didn’t want it to be harmful or hateful or controversial.” [Mashable]
God this is so dumb. So super dumb. Huge corporations are now pretending that they’ve been “hacked” as some sort of guerrilla marketing campaign. That is actually a thing that is happening now. Think long and hard about that. Some dude in a $1,000 suit instructed his underling to instruct one of his underlings to come up with tweets — non-harmful, non-hateful, uncontroversial tweets — to make it look like someone had committed a felony and hijacked their social media presence. That’s like one step short of having an employee throw a trashcan through your front window to see if it gets your store on the news.
I bet the tweets even went through a focus group. Really, I bet they did. “Would a tweet from a corporate account that read only ‘end twitter’ make you think the account had been hacked? Press 1 for yes and 2 for no.” I bet someone actually said that. Then I bet the person looked at the results, nodded silently, and made a notation on his or her clipboard like it wasn’t the single corniest thing a person has ever done.