Poland Spring Proves It's No Oreo

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 13 2013 2:23 PM

Poland Spring Proves It's No Oreo. Lucky for Them, They Didn't Need To Be Last Night.

Poland Spring's PR team is trying to make up for lost time after it remained noticeably silent last night at a time when Marco Rubio left Twitter atwitter over his rather awkward gulp from a tiny bottle of their water. As Fast Company explained this morning, the company's response didn't just leave something to be desired, it left everything to be:

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

[T]his was the Twitter equivalent of catnip. But the Poland Spring Twitter page? Nothing. Not a drop of anything—actually, there hasn't been a drop of anything since July 26, 2010, as CNET helpfully pointed out. The same went for its Facebook page, with people helpfully pointing out that here was the best—no, the best—advertising opportunity for Poland Spring, and why weren't they capitalizing on it?
Advertisement

Well, 12 or so hours later, Poland Spring has finally gotten into the game, posting this photo to its Facebook page, with the caption: "Reflecting on our cameo. What a night!"

1360782561786
Photo courtesy of Poland Spring

As my colleague Will Oremus pointed out in the wake of the Super Bowl blackout, "at a time when most brands are so bad at social-media advertising that royal screw-ups are the norm, the bar for a Twitter campaign to be considered a smashing success is about knee-high." Because of that, it took only a competent-but-by-no-means-extraordinary social media reaction from Oreo when the lights went out in the Super Dome to earn heapings of praise from business reporters, along with 16,000-odd retweets from those watching at home.

The secret to Oreo's success was a combination of both the timeliness of its response, and the fact that said timeliness was quickly trumpeted loudly to—and then subsequently by—reporters. Clearly, Poland Spring checked neither of those boxes last night. Fortunately for the water company, in this particular instance, they didn't need to. Rubio's poorly timed gulp was different than the Super Bowl blackout because the former specifically involved a product while the latter did not. (For the two marketing opportunities to have been similar, I suppose, Colin Kaepernick would have had to be snacking on a few Double Stuffs on the sidelines during the blackout.)

So while Poland Spring's PR team may have been asleep at the wheel—or left scrambling to remember their social media passwords—the product itself was (literally) front and center, and instantly began trending on Twitter all by itself.

***Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Sept. 30 2014 2:36 PM This Court Erred The Supreme Court has almost always sided with the wealthy, the privileged, and the powerful, a new book argues.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM Going Private To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  Life
Quora
Oct. 1 2014 9:13 AM What Is It Like to Be an Egyptologist?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 8:46 AM The Vintage eBay Find I Wore to My Sentencing
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 7:30 AM Say Hello to Our Quasi-Moon, 2014 OL339
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.