NEW YORK: KFC had the best brand voice on Twitter in 2018, in what the social network described as "authentic, fun, and maybe even sassy."
Twitter has put together a list of the top 11 brands and marketing campaigns in 2018 that best showcased the social network "as being a look at this" platform, rather than a "look at me" platform, like other social networks, explained Ryan Oliver, Twitter’s head of brand strategy in the U.S. and Canada.
"These brands understand their objectives and the audience they are going after," he said. "We help them make that connection."
Over the past year, Oliver said there has been an uptick in brands livestreaming content and using short-form video as a marketing tool on Twitter.
In 2019, more brands will hold back on getting on one side or another of a divisive issue on Twitter, he predicted.
"The world is going to get more polarizing," Oliver said. "Brand have the ability now to have a voice, point of view, and connect with a certain consumer as a result of that."
Here were the standout brands and campaigns on Twitter, according to Twitter, in 2018…
Best Brand Voice: KFC
"KFC established its own brand voice and tapping into everyday moments," said Oliver.
One notable Twitter campaign from KFC came over the summer, when the brand live-tweeted during an episode of General Hospital.
"People wondered why, but later on in the season, Colonel Sanders was part of the cast," Oliver said. They used their brand voice to compliment the creative work they do on TV. We helped them with the nuts and bolts and how to pull that off."
Best Digital to Physical Activation: HBO’s Silicon Valley
HBO’s Silicon Valley brought one of the storylines on its show to life on Twitter. One of the characters on the show created an app called Sliceline that helped users find and deliver the cheapest pizza. In a promotion tied to the episode, a real life company is delivered actual pizzas based on the fictional app.
"People just had to use #Sliceline and the pizza emoji and we were able to deliver pizza to them in real-time," said Oliver. "People were taking pictures and sharing them to social media. Yhe CEO of Yelp [Jeremy Stoppelman] even participated."
Best C-Suite Strategy: Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook used Twitter to connect directly with consumers throughout the year.
"Cook did a great job talking about innovations about products, sharing photography customers shot on the iPhone, and talking about Apple’s policies, his personal passions, and giving his point of view [on Twitter]," said Oliver. "He set an example for how leaders in the business world can utilize the platform."
Before the 2018 Apple keynote event in September, Cook even had fun on Twitter, sending out an "accidental" tweet that looked like it was supposed to be a personal text that read, "No. Who can get it here quickly?" His mysterious tweet sent ripples of concern across the Internet, with people trying to solve the mystery about what he was referring to.
Best Banter: Wendy’s and Little Debbie
In March, Wendy’s and Little Debbie created a talk show on Twitter, with the two brands asking each other questions.
"This showcased the conversational nature of Twitter, and other brands jumped in," said Oliver. "It was like an improv comedy act taking place on the platform. It made people pay attention and allowed others to participate."
Best Use of Live-Streaming Video: Apple
Apple live-streamed its September iPhone event for the first time this year.
"They used promoted trends and tweets to make sure they were generating buzz and awareness," added Oliver.
Best 6-Second Video: Tide
"It’s a Tide ad" ran during Super Bowl 2018 and starred Stranger Things actor Jim Hopper as an omniscient narrator hijacking other ads during the game. It won the Film Lions Grand Prix at Cannes and the Twitter #BrandBowl.
"A 30-second TV spot might not work great on digital platforms," said Oliver. "We have a team in-house that helps brands cut down longer form content."
Best Use of Creators: NBA on TNT
NBA on TNT leveraged influencers and creators to spread the word on campaigns in new and interesting ways.
Through Niche, a community of content creators acquired by Twitter in 2015, TNT was able to find local artists in different NBA cities to create NBA-related art for the NBA Tip-Off. The artists shared their artwork via social media, and it was featured in NBA Tip-Off OOH ads in various cities. Additionally, the artwork was featured on Twitter in a campaign called Heart to Remind, driving people to tune-in for NBA Opening Week. It was even part of a giveaway via Fooji where lucky fans received a team-specific poster. By leveraging various Twitter elements, NBA on TNT was able to engage with fans to ignite conversation, foster community, and highlight the power of creators to spread the word about the NBA season in unique and novel ways.
Best Brand Purpose: Nike
Nike’s Dream Crazy campaign, which included polarizing quarterback Colin Kaepernick, all started with a tweet, said Oliver.
"Nike used simple imagery, smart copywriting, and had a great two minute video they used as a commercial as well," he said. "They sparked conversation and got people talking about a very divisive issue. They took a stand."
Best Event Activation: Budweiser
Budweiser was able to complement big cultural events and drive rich conversation around those moments, said Oliver.
"Budweiser said they wanted to be the most talked about brand on Twitter during the World Cup," he said. "We created a custom platform to give Budweiser to give fans the ability to vote on the Man of the Match."
Best Launch Moment: Heinz Ketchup
Social media chatter about Mayochup, a combination of ketchup and mayonnaise, inspired Heinz to ultimately launch the product in the U.S. A vote on Twitter led to Heinz’s decision for the launch and the name of the product.
Want #mayochup in stores? 500,000 votes for "yes" and we’ll release it to you saucy Americans.— Heinz Ketchup (@HeinzKetchup_US) April 11, 2018
Best Way to Fuel Fans: Bud Light
#DillyDilly was the "best" catch phrase of 2018, said Oliver., and Twitter certainly helped fuel the conversation. Not only did Bud Light produce memorable TV ads, but they used the content perfectly on Twitter. It became a pop culture phenomenon, and the brand utilized the popularity in many ways for their fans. During the Super Bowl, the brand’s #DillyDilly ad featured the Bud Knight. It also made its way onto the field, where the Eagles called a play that would win the Super Bowl, called "Philly Philly". There is now
a bronze #PhillyPhilly statue in front of the Eagles stadium - and all because of a simple Tweet promising the city celebratory beer if they won the Super Bowl in training camp.