Burger King has become a top brand on Twitter during the NCAA tournament.
The fast food chain's #WatchLikeAKing hashtag has been used thousands of times. The hashtag is part of a contest to win gift cards, televisions, tickets to the Final Four game, and more.
"The days of slapping your logo on a stadium are over, especially when you're a huge brand like ours," Eric Hirschhorn, Chief Marketing Officer at Burger King, told Business Insider. "People are so fanatical about the tournament and sharing emotions that we wanted to engage them."
Behind-the-scenes, Burger King has amassed a team of 30 people who work long hours in a "war room," monitoring tweets and trying to predict the outcome of the games, Adam Gagliardo, Director of Digital Marketing and Social, said in a telephone interview.
Digital agencies Code and Theory and Horizon are working with Burger King's social media and public relations teams.
"It truly takes a village," Gagliardo said. "We pull conversation topics, strategize how to approach the day, and try to predict outcomes for the different games."
The team is putting in long hours, ordering food and drinking coffee around the clock. Dozens of computers and television screens monitor tweets.
The results are manifested in creative tweets like this one, when the University of Dayton beat Syracuse:
The fairytale continues in Ohio… #allaboard #MarchMadness #Dayton pic.twitter.com/iRDykMYw7x— BurgerKing (@BurgerKing) March 24, 2014
Or this net made of fries:
Swoosh. #WatchLikeaKing #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/guJg7ALgoC— BurgerKing (@BurgerKing) March 24, 2014
Seeing one customer's reaction to winning Final Four tickets made the long hours worth it, Gagliardo said.
"She completely freaked out on Twitter, and even tweeted the next morning that she was so excited she didn't sleep all night," Gagliardo told us. "It's awesome to see the results of what you're doing in real-time."
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