Community Managers Debate JELL-O’s #FML Twitter Campaign

At Ignite Social Media, we love a healthy debate and JELL-O’s most recent Twitter campaign, Fun My Life #FML, has us talking. In this blog post, two of our community managers, Thea Neal (Pro JELL-O #FML) and John Patterson (Con JELL-O #FML), enter the ring to duke it out over their respective opinions on why the campaign will or will not be a success. Here are their arguments – you decide who wins.

The Premise: Fun My Life by JELL-O

We’ve all had an #FML moment. If you’ve been living under a rock, the popular hashtag stands for “F**k My Life,” and is often used when one is SUPER bummed out. JELL-O’s campaign takes the “f**k” to “fun,” and responds to #FML tweets with a photo and a link to a gift to make the user’s day better. From 27-week pregnant moms to sad students with flat tires, JELL-O has gifted alarm clocks, board games, whoopee cushions and more.


JELL-O’s Potential Twitter Marketing #Win

by Thea Neal

Thea NealJELL-O’s Fun My Life campaign is just that – fun. By taking tweets from Negative Nancies around the globe and rewarding them with free stuff, what’s not to love? The campaign is simple, entertaining, and let’s say it again – THERE’S FREE STUFF!


It’s a Step Above Trendjacking

Not only did JELL-O jump on a hashtag that everyone already knows, it changed the meaning and ran with it. Sure, “fun” isn’t a verb, and it isn’t nearly as potent as the original, but the popularity of #FML already put JELL-O a step above other pages that have tried to make their own hashtag from scratch. The brand gets engagement from users who didn’t even know they were providing content.

fml awesome

Surprise and Delight

People love to be surprised with free stuff. They don’t have to enter a sweepstakes or really do an ounce of work (except give their address in a form to claim their prize). This is the ultimate campaign for the lazy person who is having a bad day.

jello surprise and delight

You Can’t Hack the System

When I saw that JELL-O responded with a link where the user had 48 hours to redeem the prize, I clicked through to try to claim it myself. Of course, I couldn’t, since I wasn’t the original user who tweeted. Well done, JELL-O. I’m sure I’m not the only jerk who tried to steal someone else’s prize.

awkward jello

But People Will Abuse the #FML Hashtag!

Well, it’s the Internet. Of course they will. But when they do, JELL-O handles it wonderfully, as seen below.

Jello Answers Trolls

JELL-O’s Potential Twitter Marketing #Fail

by John Patterson

John PattersonAs my fellow Community Manager Thea Neal has mentioned. JELL-O’s latest Twitter campaign has been the subject of some debate in our office. Let me start by saying I love JELL-O, however, I think that this campaign has the potential to be the source of some problems for JELL-O. Here’s why I am concerned:

The Numbers are Against Them

The hashtag #FML has over 1 million mentions (according to Topsy) and all of them are meant to mean F**k My Life. They are trying to reroute a conversation that is almost as old as Twitter. As of right now there is a spike in conversation, but conversation volume doesn’t necessarily mean success. See my article on community building. Sentiment is the missing component here. Not everything can be measured in engagement and impressions. To be fair though, they are seeing some serious engagement numbers.

Topsy Chart

Chart courtesy of Topsy

Brands are a Troll’s Holy Grail

There is no faster way to troll fame than to expertly troll a major brand. This means that while they may receive a lot of retweets and mentions, many of those could be poking fun at the brand in an attempt to elevate that user’s troll status. Planning will be key for responses and post timing.

Jello Tweet

Users Already Question Brand’s Understanding of Twitter Culture

Brand’s are regularly called out for not fully understanding the culture of Twitter when conducting their Twitter Marketing Campaigns. While as a marketer I know it is tongue in cheek, to many on Twitter, it could appear as if the brand doesn’t understand the meaning of the term or is stretching to make its message relevant.

Jello Tweet 1
Jello Tweet 2
Jello Tweet 4

Why I Think it Worked for Kmart and Might Not for JELL-O

The discussion of starting conversations versus joining them is one I have with my peers frequently. The difference between Kmart’s strategy and JELL-O’s strategy serves as a good compare and contrast between the two different methods. It also shows you that there is risk in hijacking hashtags.


How JELL-O Could Make Me Eat My Words (Delicious JELL-O Words)

By being quick, clever and sticking to their branding, JELL-O could turn the tide in their favor. It all hinges on their community management team. How do you determine who you respond to, what do you say, and how do you handle the trolls? If done correctly, I could be eating my sweet, sugary, jiggly words as they cash in on Twitter marketing gold.

Jello Tweet 5

Have you received an #FML prize from JELL-O? We’d love to see how it turned out! Tweet us at @nealthea or the Negative Nancy of the group, @johnpatterson85.

Ignite Social Media