Dr Mumbo

Twitter’s lamest brand moment of 2015 – brought to you by the spontaneous and authentic marketers of Westpac and Airbnb

Sometimes brands really nail being spontaneous and authentic on Twitter.

At other times, they’re Westpac and Airbnb Australia.

Westpac began the not-at-all scripted exchange between the brands on Friday morning, with one of those tweets that absolutely isn’t simply intended to tap into a consumer insight about first home buyers.

And wouldn’t you know it? Within 20 minutes Airbnb’s social media manager, who of course had been monitoring the Westpac account, was hilariously joining in the conversation with an observation about dads prancing around in their undies. (Really? Is that a thing?)

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Gosh. Brands collaborating. And just when everybody’s talking about how that’s the hot strategy of 2015. What a coincidence.

And back came Westpac for more. Along with a new, not-quite-understanding-how-it-works hashtag.

And of course, Airbnb was soon earnestly building on the entirely on-the-fly conversation.

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Indeed. What can you do when you’ve just come up with a consumer insight, followed by a not entirely realistic problem.

Wait! You’te not going to believe this. The 22-year-old social media intern at Westpac has just had an idea.

And it’s an idea that will happen to tap into the consumer insight and might just solve that spurious problem…


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Gosh. It’s funny you should ask, Westpac… What if there was a magical way of finding that spare space?

But who could possibly offer an answer? Could it be Airbnb? Could they actually – unbeknownst to Westpac – be in the business of room listings? Might they have space? They surely might.

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Well, who’d have though it?

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And just to show that the whole thing hasn’t been scripted by tools from the marketing department, let’s sign off with the ending from Casablanca. Only, in keeping with the off-the-cuff vibe. let’s mess up the quote. After all “promising relationship” is so much more poetic than “beautiful friendship”.

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Astonishingly, the witnesses to this Twitter exchange were a tad cynical.

Try hard? But it’s so clever.

wespac airbnb twitter 3A terrible radio commercial? What with scripted fake problems and a trite solution? Ah…

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Lacking in authenticity? But it’s as real as the unbiased advice you get from a Westpac financial adviser. Probably evil? Let’s not rule it out.

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And does the marketing manager really suck? Only Twitter can decide.

Should the two brands launch an offer in the coming days for first home buyers to put up their families with Airbnb hosts, we can be sure it all came out of that genuine Twitter conversation, and wasn’t a marketing campaign all along.

(Hat-tip: Leslie Nassar)


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