Maytag hijacked the "It’s gonna be May" meme on Tuesday by creating a campaign called -- wait for it -- "It’s gonna be Maytag."
The #ItsGonnaBeMaytag effort was a long time coming, explained the brand’s senior director of marketing, Robert Sundy, who said the viral pre-May celebration has become iconic in pop culture. It started in 2012 when BuzzFeed posted a picture of an April calendar page with a picture of former ‘NSync band member Justin Timberlake taped to the 30th, reading, "It's gonna be May," which is sort of what it sounds like he is singing in "It’s Gonna Be Me."
"Our team had been seeing this in pop culture, and we talked about it and we thought it was funny," said Sundy. "We were considering doing this last year, but we continued to look at the momentum and we had a meeting going into planning for this year and said, ‘This is the year.’ The team was passionate about this."
May was already a significant month for the Maytag brand for another reason: its Maytag Month sales campaign. So Sundy and his team started to think about how it could leverage the meme to promote its appliance deals.
"When we think about marketing activations, we think about what is important to our consumers, in the marketplace, and what trends we are seeing" said Sundy. "It just felt like the time is now."
PR AOR Ketchum and Digitas, creative AOR for all Whirlpool brands, supported Maytag on the campaign. Tactics include an integrated campaign on social media in partnership with ‘NSync band members Joey Fatone and Lance Bass. Both stars have posted tweets with the #ItsGonnaBeMaytag hashtag.
Maytag is partnering with other social media influencers to popularize the meme. The brand has also posted videos and GIFs about the push on its channels. One video shows Maytag Men being created in a factory with "It’s Gonna Be May" playing, but with the final lyric changed to "It’s gonna be Maytag," of course.
The brand also bought the promoted hashtag #ItsGonneBeMaytag to push details on select appliances over the next month.
"From a PR standpoint, we are also doing media interviews and earned media outreach with [Bass and Fatone]," said Sundy.
Social media users tipped their hats to Maytag on Tuesday for the witty way in which it hijacked the meme.
"This is helping us to stay in touch with our customers with things they care about, drive awareness for the May is Maytag Month activation we are doing and continue to contemporize the brand," added Sundy.
This story was updated on May 1 with additional information.