Taco Bell vs. Old Spice: The Twitter War That Wasn't

[optional image description]
Daniel D. Snyder

This week, the Twitter account for Old Spice offered a Philosophical Observation.

The Old Spice account, as you may recall from 2010's "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" campaign, is chock full of random and cheeky and only marginally humorous stuff like that (and like that, and like that). But for Taco Bell, purveyor of fire sauce as well as mystery meat, the question apparently struck a little too close to home.

So then -- and here's a thing I never thought I'd write -- Taco Bell struck back. With wit.

BURN! 

Old Spice, disappointingly, did not reply; otherwise, fire sauce might have started a flame war, and the world might have been treated to some Shakespeare-worthy Twitter insults. (Beefcakes! "Beef"! Deodorant! The mind reels.) 

But, alas, no. For the most part, this was a brief, lighthearted, and totally innocuous exchange -- a short screwball comedy set on Twitter's stage. But it was also a hint at the humanity that brands can take on as they carve a presence on social media. (Earlier today, it's worth noting, Twitter hosted another brand-to-brand conversation: The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed exchanging their thoughts about GIFs.) 

Brands -- or, more specifically, the people who control brands -- talk a lot about "Twitter presence." By that they often mean "presence" both as a presentation and as an interaction with customers. The Taco Bell/Old Spice Flame War That Wasn't serves as a nice reminder of the other dimension of that presence: the dimension that finds brands interacting with each other. On social media, brands don't simply have personalities; they have relational personalities. They interact with customers, sure; they also interact with each other. Or, at least, they have that option. If they're willing to take on Old Spice Guy.

Presented by

Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic.

Saving the Bees

Honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy. A short documentary considers how desperate beekeepers are trying to keep their hives alive.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Technology

Just In