As level-headed mature adults (or so we hope), we’ve all been well versed on what conversations are all-around “safe” topics. Pets, traffic, food, the weather—all generally pretty dependable for drama-free, low-risk chitter chatter. They’re your guideposts when there’s a need to look socially competent, without requiring a terrible amount of creativity or concentration. In fact, a person who chooses to display any form of strong emotion during an episode of small talk is generally despised.
Within the vast sphere conventional corporate America, customer relationship management (CRM) is another topic that is highly prevalent, granted little consequence, and in many circumstances, can be painfully dull. But the thing is, we’ve got to know this stuff. Effectively managing client interactions can make or break your company—just ask Zappos.
So maybe you heard about this: Earlier this year, rapper Armando Christian Perez, or “Pitbull”, partnered with Walmart and Energy Sheets in a social media campaign which took a turn for the worst. In June the trio announced a Facebook contest, in which the local Walmart store that received the most page “likes” would receive a personal visit from Pitbull so he could “share the experience of using Energy Sheets with [his] fans.”
That’s when David Thorpe, writer for The Boston Phoenix and the off-color comedy site Something Awful, got wind of the promotion and hijacked the campaign by encouraging people to #ExilePitbull to a remote Walmart location on Kodiak Island, Alaska. The prank spread like wildfire season in the interior arctic, and by the conclusion of the contest, a city with a population of 6,000 incinerated the efforts of 4,000 other U.S. locations, achieving over 70,000 Facebook “likes.”