Sorry Gap India, Your Friendly Talks With Brands On Twitter Look Unreal

Gap India makes a friendly debut on Twitter and other brands extend a warm welcome. Are these brand conversations being orchestrated, do they point to a new trend

Gap Hello India cover

American clothing retailer Gap is set to enter India in May this year. The ET reports that Gap India’s first store will open in Delhi next month, in partnership with domestic textile company Arvind Lifestyle Brands. But the clothing brand has already kickstarted its persona on social media in a series of #HelloIndia tweets. The conversations reek of a highly friendly and social brand, so much social that it has received a warm welcome from the other brands it’s been talking to.

Gap India has managed to build a little buzz on Twitter ever since its debut today. And this is a month before its first store launch in Delhi. Gap India greeted Indians in its first tweet hashtagged #HelloIndia. What followed later was a series of welcome tweets, not from Gap fans, but from brands!

When Gap asked Vh1 India what kind of music it would play at its store launch party, the music label brand said ‘American’!

KFC India welcomed Gap and invited the brand to come over whenever it felt homesick!

Select CityWalk, the upmarket store in Delhi was all excited that its long distance relationship with Gap will finally end!

When you can smell a party, how can a beer brand stay away? Budweiser India also jumped in to welcome Gap.

Real conversations or a new gimmick?

We’ve been privy to a lot more such social media brand conversations of late. Brands are talking to each other like building friends would. On the eve of Holi this year, a few brands got together on Twitter and planned a Holi party, much to the amusement of unsuspecting Twitterati. Twitter users were delighted with this feat and shared most of the brand tweets. Read “When Sony, Tata Docomo, Godrej Expert And Bingo Snacks Engaged In A Pre-Holi Bash On Twitter“. Two of the brands were being handled by the same agency.

Apparently encouraged by the response and the cool quotient of this brand Holi party that made the headlines in some mainstream publications, Gap India employed the same tactic to create a social media buzz around its India launch. But, it failed to gather as much retweets and favourites as the virtual Holi party planners did. Perhaps, regular users on social media could see through the strategy, or were plain bored with this brand talk.

An organic conversation between brands can only go viral once; the magic cannot be recreated. However, a few brands have struck gold when it comes to natural conversations with other brands on social media. When a picture of an Amazon delivery carton in a Flipkart office started to get viral, Flipkart and Amazon engaged in a fun banter, thus leveraging from the virality of the incident. Read “What’s An Amazon Delivery Box Doing In A Flipkart Office?“ A few days later, Tanmay Bhat, Co-founder of Comedy collective AIB posted a joke on Zomato’s new logo. The food search app quickly came around with an equally humorous response, leaving Twitter-verse quite amused. Read “When Zomato Roasted AIB Co-Founder On Twitter“.

The fact that these were impromptu responses by the brands played well to keep up their image on social media. What Gap India strategists were trying to engineer on Twitter is too done and dusted for people to care about. Nevertheless, this Twitter gimmick has at least paved the way for other brands planning on the same. It does not work, don’t make it a formula to trend!