Jell-O’s Twitter campaign attempts to make #FML its own

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When someone says “FML” on Twitter, it’s not usually a good thing. If you’re unclear on the meaning, Urban Dictionary can help. (Look at the second definition; the first one is a joke.)

Not a brand to be put off by a bad connotation, Jell-O is looking to co-opt the #FML hashtag and make it something new: “fun my life.” The brand has even set up a new website dedicated to co-opting the common Internet phrase.

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The website features tweets – some directed at Jell-O, some not – in which Jell-O offers ways for people who have complaints about their day-to-day activities to make things a little less stressful, along with images of cartoon stress-relievers such as head massagers and board games. Those images aren’t just pictures; they’re verifications that the tweeter actually won a prize pack.

The site also has a running count of #FML tweets, which has topped 115,000 in the past 14 days. Most of those tweets have nothing to do with Jell-O at all. A quick search for the term on Twitter shows most don’t include the @Jell-O handle. Branding blogger Keely Galgano says could be a bit of an issue.

“FML is a part of Internet culture – perhaps not to the height of something like ‘LOL,’ but it’s up there,” she wrote. “So how can this campaign really hope to make a splash? I’m not sure.”

Also of interest? The sweepstakes’ rules. They state:

An eligible Tweet is defined as one that does not include any bad words, offensive language, any type of trademark infringement, celebrity name(s), or any inappropriate content. Tweet must be in good taste, as determined solely at the discretion of the Sponsor and/or Judges.

For a sweepstakes based on an abbreviation that includes the f-word, and which most of its entrants will use in that context, those are some eyebrow-raising stipulations.

 

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