A lot of people interested in such things cite Oreo’s Super Bowl blackout tweet as the definitive example of a brand winning through swift social media response. In the two and a half years since the cookie-maker’s marketing team took advantage of an aberration in the most-watched television program in the world, every brand has felt the (often misguided) need to make social media hay during every major event–and everybody on Twitter knows to look for these big communal moments and be ready to pounce. Another smart tactic, though, and one which Denny’s deftly demonstrated today, is plugging into less spectacular moments in more niche groups, and casually, almost indifferently, inserting oneself into the conversation.
Depending on who you follow on Twitter, you may have noticed this little guy, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, a/k/a the “shruggie” emoticon, flying around even more than usual today. The catalyst for this whatevs-infestation is a story on the Awl about the creation and rising popularity of the beloved icon of ambivalence. As people on social media are wont to do, folks have been tweeting about the article and making oblique in-jokes about it for the last 24 hours. Amazingly, this micro-trend was not lost on the marketing team at Denny’s, which quickly responded with the below tweet.
The default response of the cognoscenti who’ve been tweeting the article will likely be skepticism, digital eye rolls, and perhaps a declaration that the party’s over. But if such declarations arrive in the form of tweets denouncing Denny’s’ stab at hyper-focused topicality, or better still, expressions of resigned, melancholy-tinged bemusement, Denny’s wins.