Weight Watchers, which rebranded as WW in 2018, is probably regretting the timing of its latest Twitter promotion.
Last night, hoping to capitalize on New Year’s diet resolutions and increase awareness of its new brand, the company promoted #ThisIsMyWW.
Under ordinary circumstances, the milquetoast hashtag would’ve functioned as intended. But due to the U.S.’s killing of Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani amid the escalating conflict between the U.S. and Iran, organically trending hashtags World War 3 and WWIII turned it from simple promotion to confusing marketing disaster.
Weight Watchers probably regretting their promoted hashtag tonight pic.twitter.com/9QNNYdFETh
— Chelsea Fagan (@Chelsea_Fagan) January 3, 2020
The promotion was likely planned weeks, even months ago, by WW’s marketing team. Still, through no fault of its own, reactions to it were all over the place.
Many commented on the hashtag’s poor timing and the volatile nature of social media, as well as the potential for ‘WW’ to mean any number of things that have nothing to do with dieting or world war, such as Wonder Woman or Willy Wonka, among others.
The unfortunate coincidence of World War 3 and World War III trending at the same time as WW’s promotion inspired many cringes and quite a few wry chuckles.
“Not a great night for Weight Watchers to be rebranding #thisismyWW,” @cpatrickdood tweeted. “Weight Watchers must really be regretting the hashtag ‘#thisismyWW‘ right now,” added @MysticDistance. Alexia Bonatsos joked, “Nothing drops the pounds like rationing!”
Lots of people just assumed that #ThisIsMyWW was a world war reference.
— diego ♓︎ (@diordieg0) January 3, 2020
This stands for "This is my World War", right? I want a war with fucking killer sharks coming out of a tornado that'd be epic! /s pic.twitter.com/KHUUkvmL5p
— whiteroach (@whiteroach3) January 2, 2020
#ThisIsMyWW is the Iannucian social media disaster we deserve. Let it be the final nail in this website’s coffin.
— bobby finger (@bobbyfinger) January 3, 2020
— jush (@boringwhitedad) January 3, 2020
bad timing for that hashtag Weight Watchers #thisismyWW
THIS IS MY WORLD WAR 💀😔💥
LETS GOOOOOO!!! pic.twitter.com/T7eeN168oR
— im sඞlt (@imsaltYT) January 3, 2020
— WAR IS A RACKET (@juarezhoracio) January 3, 2020
— Cathy Bev Rage (@cathusmax) January 3, 2020
— Shrimpfry Butterfly 🦋 (@EilaniWhyte) January 3, 2020
Uh, #ThisIsMyWW is NOT what I thought that hashtag was about.
— The Big Bad Wolf (@TBBW1) January 2, 2020
— Jordan VanDina (@JordanVanDina) January 3, 2020
Social media marketing is a theater where timing is everything.