Reporter's Notebook
Brands toss #Sharknado chum into social-media sea

Brands toss #Sharknado chum into social-media sea


When the Syfy cable television network’s airing of “Sharknado” Thursday night sent Twitter into an F6-category phenomenon that endured well into Friday, restaurant brands were poised to take the social-media bait.

The B-movie-quality made-for-TV “Sharknado,” similar in vein to an earlier “Sharktopus,” generated nearly 5,000 tweets a minute at its peak and more than 387,000 mentions in less than 24 hours.

The #Sharknado hashtag and movie were something of fish stories, addressing what would happen in the scientifically unproven case of a tornado spinning hundreds of sharks into Los Angeles.

Restaurant social-media managers, as they are wont to do, jumped on the meme quickly and efficiently to draw their followers into the retweet net. And they did that with a hefty helping of what we might call #Snarknado.

McDonald’s offered up the image of burgers spinning around a twister and provided the commentary of: “First there were sharks, now there is ‘BigMacnado’!!”

Whataburger gave the soothing advice of: “In the event of a #SharkNado Whataburger will remain open for anyone seeking refuge.” (See some of the examples below.)

The frightful – in a good way – meme even extended across international borders, with Taco Bell Canada postulating: “Can you imagine a #TacoNado? It would be the most delicious and scary weather occurrence ever.”

The social-media mentions may have been disproportionate to the actual number of “Sharknado” viewers. Syfy said about 1.37 million actually watched the show.

That means restaurant Twitter social-media managers still have something bigger to reel in the next time there is, in the terms of one Tweeter, another awe-inspiring “act of Cod.”

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