Friday, January 13


I happened to notice a trending topic on Twitter the other day called "#ILoveWalgreens."  I pay some attention to these things, mostly because they give a nice peek into what's going on with pop culture.  That's of course, when the trending topics occur naturally and organically.  Like the one recently about Beyonce and her baby.

#ILoveWalgreens, though, was a paid trending topic meaning that Walgreens paid to have it appear as a trending topic.  Which is fine, because Twitter allows one paid trending topic a day.  The work then is to get people to trend along.

It didn't appear to take much to get them to trend along, actually, which is probably what caught my eye most.  The tweets ranged from serious to hysterical and a few scary ones in between like the ones about making meth.  There were also some very obvious brand-generated tweets as well.  You can read them for yourself here.

The issue that surprised me the most, though, was that once some people figured out that it was a paid trend, they got annoyed.  Which to me is surprising because it's clearly labeled as such ("promoted").  So what's the big deal?  Lots of brands, almost one a day actually, use promoted trending.

It was probably a good move by the brand, in indirect response to Express Scripts de-listing them as a prescription provider.  Don't know any of the details around that, but it's smart of the brand to try to drum up some loyalty and love in the process.

I think the issue is the title.  When you put "love" into something, people want it to be authentic.  They don't want it paid for.  Shouldn't have to pay for love.

What do you think?  What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect
Professor at NYU