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Ross Noble / Twitter barrage with hamster sledding on a chip

by on June 21, 2012 in Lead story, Marketing

Comedian Ross Noble likes to have fun with Twitter. He sets up occasional “Twitterbombard” campaigns, asking his followers, and fans at his gigs, to deluge a particular Twitter user — a member of Parliament or a brand, for example, with ridiculous questions.

One of those brands, Doritos, decided to have fun with Mr. Noble in return, after he talked about bombarding Doritos during a TV talk show appearance. The bizarre questions duly came flooding in, and Twitter users found, to their surprise, that @DoritosUK responded not just with words, but with images as well.

So when @brentusmc asked if it was OK for his hamster to use a Dorito as a sled to get down the stairs, he got a return tweet saying “We aim to please,” accompanied by a picture of a hamster riding a Dorito down a staircase.

The conversations continued with images of sunflowers made of Doritos, a Dorito goldfish, a bathtub full of Doritos, Dr. Spock ears made of Doritos, a Doritos hang glider, Doritos sun cream, and a replacement wing for a pet moth fashioned out of a Dorito. The grand finale was a “present” to Mr. Noble from Doritos — an image of him made entirely out of Doritos.

Paul McCrudden, social director of AMV BBDO and head of its community-management arm, AMV Pulse, was behind the very personalized response, which began Saturday morning with various AMV Pulse staffers mocking up images from the comfort of their own homes — after consulting with the client.

The @DoritosUK activity pushed the brand’s followers up to 3,890 from about 2,800 in just a few days, but the object of the exercise was to build engagement rather than numbers.

Mr. McCrudden said, “We responded to fans individually — this was personal engagement on a one-to-one level. Social media allows this to happen, but it can be easier said than done. This has been good fun, as we’ve been completely at the mercy of people’s random questions, essentially letting them dictate the content we create.”

Mr. Noble previously targeted Doritos with a Twitterbombard in December 2009, which again the brand took in good spirit. That time, Doritos responded by sending Mr. Noble huge amounts of Doritos for free, some of which he took out to Afghanistan to distribute among the troops he was entertaining.

Doritos is no stranger to playful engagement in the U.K. The snack brand’s current ad campaign features a Mariachis Doritos band, and invites fans to go to Doritos’ Facebook page to book the band to appear at their own parties.


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