(Blog post #4 for COM0014)
Choosing a B2C company for this case study wasn’t a straightforward process because I don’t enjoy interactions with businesses on social media on a regular basis. Nevertheless, this case study will focus on mobile operator T-Mobile USA and their partnership with Domino’s Pizza to examine the brands’ tweeting and video streaming activities.
T-Mobile has a strong social media presence, with over 5 million Facebook likes and nearly 700,000 Twitter followers. The company’s CEO, John Legere, has over 2.6 million Twitter followers. They use an avalanche of hashtags related to their products and services: #Uncarrier, #MagentaPride, #GetThanked, #MusicFreedom and more. Their most recent campaign, T-Mobile Tuesdays, rewards customers with freebies on every Tuesday.
However, this campaign did not come without its setbacks. One of their partners, Domino’s, backed out of the T-Mobile Tuesdays promotion after two weeks of offering a free medium two-topping pizza per customer per week. Considering that T-Mobile’s catchy live-steamed ad campaign touted the offer with “EVERY TUESDAY” and “NO BS”, along with John Legere bashing his competitors (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc.) to present his company as a knight in shining armour, the complete loss of free weekly pizza after only two weeks was not well received by T-Mobile and Domino’s customers. A Twitter search not only shows frustrated customers, but it also reveals confused customers who believe that the deal is still going on in July, despite being cancelled on June 21. Legere previously made claims such as “every Tuesday”, but later announced: “We will be changing it up all the time!”
Such a poorly planned promotion gives a negative image of both companies. T-Mobile did replace the pizza with different freebies to try to save face, but some customers still have a bitter taste of the whole ordeal. Meanwhile, Domino’s has yet to console its customers by responding directly: although Domino’s Twitter page still has a retweet of the T-Mobile promotion, the pizza brand did not follow up with tweets to reflect the promotion’s end. Competitor Taco Bell (mentioned in COM0012 lesson 6) did not directly respond, but a number of customers ditched Domino’s and had Taco Bell’s Taco Tuesdays promo instead.
Another fast food company, Wendy’s, continues to participate in T-Mobile Tuesdays because they were better organized with their promotion. Whereas the weekly Domino’s giveaway had an estimated CA$8 value, Wendy’s is instead offering a free Frosty every week, a CA$1 value. By offering a loss leader that has a lower retail value, Wendy’s was able to stay with the campaign from its inception and as a result, maintain a positive image with likely more sales by customers who buy non-Frosty items when visiting Wendy’s. Domino’s would do well to take notes and consider offering smaller items, like slices or breadsticks.