Major League Baseball continues to prove it’s a great playing field for social-media engagement, and advertisers are taking notice. Although this year’s World Series got the third-worst television ratings on record, Chevrolet managed to spin comedy gold on social media from an awkward off-the-cuff moment.
During the presentation of a Chevrolet Colorado truck to World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner, Chevrolet zone manager Rikk Wilde accidentally and unexpectedly started a Twitter storm with an awkward speech bragging that the truck offers "technology and stuff."
The hashtag #TechnologyAndStuff quickly took flight as the Twitterverse made sport of Wilde’s speech. Instead of getting defensive, Chevrolet integrated the hashtag into its social-media marketing scheme. If you check out Chevrolet's website, #TechnologyAndStuff is almost the Colorado’s tagline.
GMR Marketing VP of Client Management Todd Fischer pointed to the incident as further proof that baseball is fertile ground for digital advertisers.
Fischer said he was impressed with the way Chevrolet took control of the social-media conversation by owning #TechnologyAndStuff. He said many companies would have curled up and waited for it to pass, but by acting quickly Chevrolet was able to turn the gaffe into a positive.
"They used it as an opportunity to actually become more relevant," he said.
By embracing the hashtag, Fischer said Chevrolet capitalized on an opportunity to engage consumers on their terms. "It was an opportunity to speak in consumer language about the benefits of their brand," he said. Without that sort of personal voice, such communications "sometimes fall victim to corporate-speak that a lot of consumers don’t respond to."
Despite MLB’s diminished prominence on the national stage compared with the NBA and NFL, Fischer said the game’s structure adapts well for social-media campaigns.
"Baseball’s pace lends itself to being conversational," he said.
Specifically, Fischer said MLB is particularly attractive for social campaigns because the down time during games provides fans with a generous amount of time to engage in social media.
"The landscape of Major League Baseball is really rich territory for further social engagement," he said.