Chipotle’s hacked Twitter account – brilliant or reckless?

Posted: July 30, 2013

Topics: Digital Marketing

On July 21, it seemed that Chipotle was the latest consumer brand to have fallen victim to social media account hackers. The fast food chain fired off a series of 12 – what seemed to be random – tweets over the course of an hour. The tweets, although not malicious, ranged from incomplete sentences to a request to pick up lime, salt and onions, and ended with an apology from their Twitter Manager, Joe. It turns out the whole thing was a farce to help promote the company’s 20th anniversary. While risky, we think Chipotle is the perfect type of brand to pull off a stunt of this magnitude. Here’s why:

  • The company’s core audience is quite young and understands the value of social media
  • The stunt re-attracted the attention of their existing audience
  • @chipotletweets added over 4,000 followers. Their normal rate is about 250 per day.
  • The hacked tweets were retweeted about 12,000 times. They normally see about 75 retweets per day.
  • The farce created an earned media news cycle that got everyone talking (including us) about the real news – their 20th anniversary. Brilliant!

We’re on board with Chipotle’s strategy, what do you think?

Check out Mashable for the full story.


Corinne Petras is PUSH 22's director of PR and social strategy. She integrates with PUSH 22's clients to create lasting, meaningful media and public relationships.