Who doesn’t love a good parody account? I’ve always envied the quick-thinking people who jump on a trending topic and make a Twitter handle within minutes. We all remember the Bronx Zoo’s cobra that escaped its reptile house in 2011 and simultaneously joined the Twitterverse (@BronxZoosCobra). It was hilarious, but also probably pretty embarrassing for the zoo. But hey, they did get some free PR out of it.
What’s the takeaway here? Well, some parody accounts actually have more followers than a brand’s actual account. A recent example is @sochiproblems. With more than 341K followers, it far exceeds the official account for the Sochi Games. Ouch.
The lesson to be learned here is that it pays to “have a sense of humor and think about what our customers, prospects, and leads actually want to see from us on a daily basis.” You can still be professional while having a little bit of fun with social media. It’s a fine line – but definitely one worth exploring.
The marketing spoof is one of the best and worst institutions in our industry.
Done well, it can result in one hilarious comedy skit after another. Take SNL’s riff on Brad Pitt’s Chanel ad, for example, or this clever spoof spawned by Dove’s emotionally charged “Evolution” campaign. Even Apple’s advertising has been parodied far and wideover the last decade — so much so that this Mashable article chronicles the top 10 Apple ad memes of all time.