Thursday, June 24, 2010


Interesting tweet:
Who wants free late-night shots @ Mercadito? @foodietheapp does! Head in after 10pm, everyone order all-u-can-eat tacos, get shots. Easy.

My query is did Mercadito go beyond their tweet to generate viral buzz better known as OMG.

Read On:
We all agree that Web 2.0 has provided us with the tools that facilitate real time conversation. As a result, we are now experiencing a “pull” economy. Brand marketers are rushing to field their social media presence on the Internet – follow us on Facebook and Twitter being the standard play. What puzzles me is how limited the focus has been on generating positive viral buzz, especially in the food industry. To date most of the viral buzz has been negative word-of-mouth. Two examples that illustrate my point:

- Greenpeace's assault on Nestlé Kit Kat bars usage of palm oil a byproduct from deforestation, thus calling them out on the carpet to clean up their supply chain. Their
Have a break videos have been uploaded 1.1 million times and still counting. They have facilitated a community of “not fans” on their Facebook page prompting their Chairman, Peter Brabeck-Letamthe to post a letter calling for a moratorium on destruction of rainforests.

- Danone had to counter a
viral attack in Argentina on its Actimel yogurt brand being harmful.

So what about designing movements to generate positive buzz in the food industry? One master is
Ramon DeLeon out of Chicago. He learned the hard way when his Domino’s crew made a servicing mistake, thus coined the expression: “Put social media fires out with social media water.” Now, thanks to engaging with his customers via numerous social media tools, Ramon has created positive viral buzz.

Back to Mercadito’s original tweet which was retweeted, a form of viral marketing. However where was the OMG factor (Oh My Gosh; Oh My God!)? Why did they not walk up to a table of all you can eat taco guests and say “Tacos on us”? Imagine if they did, plus videoed/photographed, then posted their reaction on their Facebook location or Flickr. Why did they not announce they would be rewarding another free table at midnight? I bet the tweets/texts would have been flying off their guests’ fingers. Why did they not walk up to an individual and present a $50 gift certificate for being the best dressed? Again a video/photograph of that individual’s reaction would have generated positive viral buzz and potential organic growth for Mercadito and Foodie.

The food industry needs to begin capitalizing on the positive viral buzz that is at their finger tips when it comes to spreading the good news. It is that simple. Oh my gosh! LOL.


  1. Jimmy,

    Unfortunately the immature marketers who are using social media are followers of the old newspaper maxim, "if it bleeds, it leads." Nothing is too sensational, too risky to post.

    This leads to what I call a race-to-the-bottom, where each writer/poster/marketer tries to top the competition. The next tweet might be, "see if you can drive here drunk for your free shots" followed by something even more stupid.

    I think you are on the right track, and positive viral messages will win, but only after we have gone through these painful growing pains.

  2. I love how you take an ideas further where many marketers stop. Good way to re-pupose and make something more impactful.

  3. "Interesting tweet: Who wants free late-night shots @ Mercadito? @foodietheapp does! Head in after 10pm, everyone order all-u-can-eat tacos, get shots. Easy.

    My query is did Mercadito go beyond their tweet to generate viral buzz better known as OMG."

    If you read the tweet you realize that it never came from Mercadito but from @foodietheapp

    So the question lies in why are you holding Mercadito responsible for a tweet that had nothing to do with them nor was generated by them...when the one that is doing the tweeting and is responsible is an independent marketing company that is issuing tweets of local deals to generate their own following.

    The problem with "marketers" and supposed "social media gurus" and critics is simply very much like the above said situation...

    a little bit of knowledge is dangerous.

    Please research your tweet quotes and when using them to create a valid argument use them in the appropriate context given and not as you see fit in order to illustrate your theory and further yourself in marketing as well. Next time use quotes, dates, sources, and times so you really can quote where the source came from and not where you assume it came from due to your misreading of it.

    My advice...learn twitter then write editorials on it.

    "foodie partners with the best restaurants in Chicago to offer unique, limited specials to our great dining community"

    You wrote an article based on the wrong tweeter.


  4. Dear Anonymous poster above: If you're so sure of yourself, why post annonomously? And do you need to be so rude? You can get your point across graciously which takes greater skill...

  5. Jimmy

    Sorry I'm coming to the game so late in order to comment. I remember you telling us about this idea when we met after the breakfast in Chicago and thought it was a good one. As I said that day, I definitely want to a) be able to have more people on our team to follow up with great ideas like this and b) want to engage our restaurants to do the same. With everything that everyone has on their plates (no pun intended) at the restaurants, it's sometimes difficult to stay on top of all the marketing initiatives that are out there. The best we can do is keep working with the restaurants to help them to keep driving more people into their seats.

  6. Cool idea (free shots), however it is illegal (and now they are viraling out their illegal activity. Oops. Does ABC monitor Twitter?

  7. It's a fine line to walk though, what about ladies night, ladies drink free and Happy hour buy one get one free?