Content Marketing Blog

Hip-hop star Pitbull could be exiled after Walmart Twitter campaign backfires

With a population of just 6,130 at the time of the 2010 census and a subpolar climate that sees the temperature hover around five degrees Celsius throughout most of the year, Kodiak might not seem like the best place for a pop concert.

But Armando Christian Pérez, AKA Pitbull, might have to go there anyway after an internet prank saw thousands of Facebook users hijack Walmart's latest social media marketing campaign.

The contest, designed to promote the Energy Strips product, invited people to Like their local Walmart in order to win a visit from Pitbull, who is behind such number one hits as Give Me Everything and I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho).

David Thorpe and Jon Hendren of comedy website Something Awful saw an opportunity for mischief however, launching a twitter campaign under the hashtag #exilepitbull, encouraging people to instead give their votes to the Walmart in Kodiak, Alaska.

"Pitbull is having a contest where he'll visit the local Walmart that gets the most FB Likes. [Jon Hendren] and I are sending him to Kodiak, Alaska. Go to this page and enter zip code 99550," Thorpe tweeted on June 29.

Since then more than 63,000 Facebook users have Liked the Walmart Kodiak page, more than ten times the population of the remote community.

Panic! At The Disco frontman Brendon Urie has even gotten involved, tweeting: "I don't jump on board with just any idea, but sending Pitbull to the most remote Walmart in America? Yeah, I back that. #ExilePitbull".

Pitbull seems to be in surprisingly good spirits about the issue however, tweeting to Mr Thorpe: "You should come with me to Kodiak since ur so invested in me going there bro…ur welcome 2".

The news highlights the importance of taking care when instigating a social media strategy, and ensuring that your decisions are entirely thought through.

The contest wraps up on July 15, so it's not too late to add your Like to Walmart Kodiak.