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Social Media Culture-jacking: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Posted by Lisa Gulasy

The morning winter storm Nemo hit NYC, a client requested our team send a tweet on its behalf. We all thought it was a pretty great idea, especially since the client is located in that neck of the woods. So the question quickly became, “What should we tweet?” One team member suggested we keep it light and fun with something along the lines of enjoying the snow or ideas for fighting cabin fever when you’re snowed in. That's where I hesitated, thinking keeping it light might backfire. “We can’t tweet that,” I said. “What if something terrible happens?”

Culture-jacking refers to brands capitalizing on pop culture events, including less than ideal weather conditions, via social media. Culture-jacking is becoming an increasingly common social media practice, but is it really a good idea for brands to launch uber-relevant campaigns in real time? Let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good