, Australia

On a wing and a prayer', does controversy work in social media?

By Peter J Caddick

From Kevin Rudd’s favourite chef at Mr Wong’s to a UTS business school lecturer to the main stream press and an army of amateur bloggers – everyone is talking. Nando’s really did go out on a limb with their reference to Schapelle Corby but did it pay off?

Debate has raged and opinions have been split:

‘Oh, dear! Nandos. Did you really, really have to do that?’ ‏@mfsloan

‘I thought that was funny, Nandos. And applaud your speedy marketing’. @jenjohnson6

'Nando's plays chicken with #Schapelle Corby’ @UTS Business

On paper the result is phenomenal. Nando’s last post received 18 shares, this post received 1390. That’s a 7222% increase.

The question for QSR businesses is surely: “Should I do this too and what are the pros and cons?”

To explain this you just can’t rely on stats alone.

Like it or not, their comments got a conversation going. People have an opinion on it and they have been sharing this opinion - lots.

This is the power of social media. If you have something interesting to say that starts a debate then people will debate with you. Imagine big rooms full of people standing around going ‘head to head’ with opinions. If you stand up and start a topic of debate these people will look at you, walk over and if it’s a topical discussion, join in!

To answer the question of the merits of Nando’s strategy here is some food for thought, call it some ‘nuggets’ of information if you will!

After consulting our very own thesocialammo.com’s Social Intelligence Unit, (average age 20, favourite interests: Tumblr and playing Flappy Bird) here are a few facts we uncovered:

Fact #1: Nando’s comments were not that controversial in terms of the type of debate that rages on social platforms daily. In fact when it was mentioned, the most common reaction from our busy young team was a side glance and a muffled ‘mergh’.

Fact 2#: Take a wander over to the McDonald’s Australia Facebook page and you will find a largely un-moderated debate raging at any given time. Tackling issues from ‘conspiracy theories’ involving the philanthropic work of Ronald McDonald House Charity to derisive comments re the Healthy Choices Menu.

Fact 3#: KFC Australia now defines all of their marketing efforts through their social campaigns. Highlighted recently by the Army of ‘Bucketheads’ sitting round a table 60 m high at the latest ashes series

In an age where everyone is a wannabe master chef, gluten intolerant and swears by their Michelle Bridges 40 day weight loss plan, KFC manages to get thousands of young Aussies to send them photos of buckets on their heads – buckets previously filled with fried chicken!

Think about it: Thousands - putting empty fried chicken buckets on their heads – buckets that were filled with chicken – bought chicken...

If that doesn't shake the life out of the QSR boardroom, then what will?

In a nutshell,

1. Debate is happening, if you engage in it then your brand shows it's alive and interesting.

2. Social media works.

3. Brands that should be suffering the wild winds of changing consumerism are fighting back with bucket hats.

So I would suggest produce content, produce value and give an opinion. You will be rewarded.

Back to Nando’s - did they succeed with their comments?

Of course they did! I just wrote a 728 word article about it and it's probably the 10th one written on the subject today.
Nando’s, like KFC, understand the value of content, the value of the conversation. They have known this for a while.

On that note, I will leave you until next time with a shameless plug. If you need content then contact me via my LinkedIn (Peter Caddick from The Social Ammo) and browse our blogs to your heart’s content www.thesocialammo.com.

If you need ideas then talk to us. Let’s get a (profitable) conversation started!

P.S. Are you still wondering what the heck flappy bird is? Do me a favour find the nearest under 23 year old and ask them. Add comment about Flappy Bird being pulled down??

You might just become addicted, too...

Join QSR Media Australia community
Since you're here...

...there are many ways you can work with us to advertise your company and connect to your customers. Our team can help you dight and create an advertising campaign, in print and digital, on this website and in print magazine.

We can also organize a real life or digital event for you and find thought leader speakers as well as industry leaders, who could be your potential partners, to join the event. We also run some awards programmes which give you an opportunity to be recognized for your achievements during the year and you can join this as a participant or a sponsor.

Let us help you drive your business forward with a good partnership!