A spicy social media hashtag for autumn

Sep 15, 2015 5:19:46 PM


What comes to mind when you look at the #PSL hashtag? Preferred suppliers list? Pakistan Super League? Premier Squash League? 

If you're a Starbucks fan, you'll know that it's none of those things; it's all about the brand's legendary pumpkin spiced latte. (NB: worth checking out the hashtag on Instagram - expressions of pure delight!)

Anyway, if you're not a Starbucks fan - and even if you are - you might wonder, why has this huge brand used such a seemingly poorly selected hashtag? Sure, it's easy to remember and even easier to type, but it's being used regularly by premier league fans, and others. Doesn't this diminish its value; fans scrolling back through the conversation will see a whole host of mixed messages, right? Right. And tracking everything, analysing sentiment, etc could be a right pain in the panda paw.

But then, mid rant, I saw it ... and it was beautiful. 

Redemption: the campaign behind the hashtag

I'll be honest, I go to Starbucks. I get their emails. Hey, I even have a Starbucks card (somewhere). Sometimes I'll look at their social media pages. But before today, and before seeing the brand's promoted hashtag, I had never truly understood the importance of the PSL to so many people. I must confess that, because of my discovery - and because of their eye-catching promoted hashtag - I'm now completely in love with 'the real PSL' campaign. If you haven't seen it yet, take a look here and here for some spicy cuteness. 

The key to success? Knowing your audience

I love tailored campaigns, and when a product gathers its own cult following, and you're one of the biggest brands in the world (with resources aplenty), why not give it its own persona and build a fun community around it? 

Overall, a great example of knowing your audience, building hype around a seasonal product and making something that's not really very cute into an incredibly shareable product for fans worldwide. Just err, a bit of a shame about the hashtag! 

Can't wait to read more campaign related news and views?

Head on over to the Panda Express and fill your boots with more ecommerce goodness. 

What do you think?

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