In what may be one of the more unusual uses of social media by a brand, Little Debbie -- the personification of the snack cake brand sold by McKee Foods -- went on Twitter to offer "her" thoughts on love and relationships. She tweeted "Valentine's day has ended & perhaps it was an amazing time filled with bliss or perhaps it was a quiet time spent alone. But you know what? Either one of those are ok. Never attach your value & worth as a person to your relationship status." The blogosphere reacted with nearly 6000 retweets, tearfully thanking Little Debbie for free therapy and advice.
What does any of this have to do with snack cakes? Maybe those who were sad to spend Valentine's day alone drowned their sorrows with cupcakes or maybe those who celebrated (alone or with a partner) did so with the tasty snacks. But one thing this little campaign shows is that brands are always looking for inventive ways to connect with consumers through social media, and those ways don't always have any obvious connection to their products.
One cautionary note for brands seeking to be part of the cultural zeitgeist in their social media posts: remember that, unlike ordinary consumers, brands can't safely talk about celebrities or big events like the Olympics without permission. Lucky for Little Debbie, she was only offering her own heartfelt advice!
...for some reason, Little Debbie took to Twitter on President's Day to belatedly address another holiday—and now she's got thousands of people (the tweet has been liked more than 18,000 times as of this writing) thinking hard about ... love and life and relationships.