Feud for Thought: The Rise of Brand Banter on Social Media
Erica Aveard | May 07, 2019
Magazines have been using their covers to perpetuate feuds for decades. They can cover all angles, from love triangles and sibling rivalries to reality TVand political drama. Human relationships and rivalries became such a moneymaker that it morphed into shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" which still enjoys a cult following. That show pokes people like Taylor Swift who keeps making music about the feud. Swift, meanwhile, is also known to stir the pot leading up to a big album release. The cycle repeats every few years or so, leading to a lucrative business model for both parties.Because of this fascination that so clearly plays out in public, celebrities have started to use fake feuds to their advantage. Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman have a faux feud manufactured to sell gin (for Reynolds) and coffee (for Jackman). Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon have a rivalry, maybe only designed for laughs but probably for exposure too. Marketing a feudBrands also have feuds, both real and manufactured by marketing teams. Battles of the brands are nothing new as far back as the Great Depression, Pepsi outwardly marketed a larger bottle of soda for the same price as a Coca-Cola. These "Cola Wars" raged on ever since, with both brands taking to experiential marketing and social media showdowns for chances to one-up the other. The Marvel vs. DC comparison has spread across multiple verticals from TV programming, merchandise sales and box office numbers. DC comics was the first to celebrate when Marvel nearly went bankrupt in the mid-1990s, and now Marvel is back on top, riding out "Avengers" momentum with a final installment.Most recently, feuds have become a go-to marketing strategy for fast food companies looking for their voice on social media. Wendy's had a media comeback when it started clapping back at other fast food brands on Twitter, and Burger King introduced experiential media, incorporating virtual reality into their marketing strategy, encouraging participants to "burn" other burger chains. In recent years, Taco Bell started hopping onto Twitter threads to close them with a final diss.