As of 8:30 a.m. today, Fruity Pebbles, the quintessential Generation X cereal born in 1971, was trending on Twitter in Houston, Dallas, Seattle, New York and beyond.
In case you’re not familiar with Twitter it’s a social networking site reported by Mashable to be worth $4 billion. Users post comments (tweets) in 140 characters or less. Buzz can build very fast on Twitter. People often categorize their tweets by adding a number sign (#) commonly referred to as a hashtag, followed by a word. Like this, #fruitypebbles.
Everyday, popular topics are tracked by geographic region and posted in lists users can easily access. Oklahoma City is not yet among the cities tracked. Penelope Trunk wrote a very interesting post awhile back on how African Americans dominate trending topics on Twitter.
Fruity Pebbles became a hot topic on Twitter when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson a pro-wrestler, said WWE superstar opponent John Cena, looked like a bright bowl of Fruity Pebbles. Two days later, Cena, who wears colorful clothing, responded with a tweet, “CeNation. Just finishing morning bowl of fruity pebbles. Holy hotspurs?! Did spurs beat milan?!”
Last night, he ate a bowl of Fruity Pebbles during a segment of the WWE Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. He called himself yabba-dabba-delicious.
This represents a public relations windfall for one of Post Cereal’s favorite brands. In the industry, free publicity is called earned media or non-paid media placement. It’s the opposite of advertising because its publicity you don’t pay for with a traditional advertising budget. PR people work hard to gain earned media for their clients.
In this case, it just fell into Post’s lap — or did it? Maybe Post’s PR firm coordinated with Cena’s publicity agents. Who knows? If not, and all of this grew organically, I wonder if Post will basque in the temporary glow of the fleeting Twitter trend or if they’ll capitalize on all the Generation X nostalgia out there.
What could Post do to keep the buzz alive for another 12 to 24 hours?
Check out this Flintstone’s memorabilia on Flickr.
By the way, Cena and Johnson are both Generation X. Cena was born in 1977, Johnson in 1972.