Real time example of social media branding in action

This is happening right now!

An American teenager who enjoys knitting and the TV show Glee chose, for reasons unknown, the twitter handle @theashes. Unfortunately the ashes are the name given to one of the great sporting contests of all time, no I’m not talking about the world series that only American teams play in, I’m talking about the (sort of) bi-annual cricket series between Australia and England.

These two have been playing Test cricket since 1877 however the first match for the ashes was played in 1882. This is not the place to explain cricket!

The five match series has just begun with an enthralling 5 day match in Brisbane. Unfortunately for @theashes, fans around the world thought she was the official twitter account and bombarded her for updates from Brisbane!

Her early responses were more bemused than anything, “This is not the account of the cricket match. Check profiles before you send mentions, it’s incredibly annoying and rude.” However later tweets suggest a little frustration creeping in as this recent example shows, “I AM NOT A FREAKING CRICKET MATCH!!!”

In another tweet, she asked, “what the hell is a wicket?” and later she was unsure whether she should support Australia or England.

Enter the Brand. Qantas, sensing an opportunity began a twitter campaign – #gettheashestotheashes and offered her a free flight from New York. Other companies have also offered free tickets to matches, transport in Australia and even mobile phones.

She is considering the flight offer, but isn’t keen to travel alone. Qantas has done the right thing, seeing and responding to a great opportunity to develop a brand advocate. It is little events like this that are critical for the successful development of a brand in the social medial space.

Now they need to offer another ticket for her to travel with a friend otherwise their initial advantage could evaporate.