Seizing the moment…..did Zimbabwe’s big brand marketers miss an opportunity from the Advocate Mahere & Dr Gwaunza Date?

If you are a Zimbabwean on Twitter, you will know how on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th of April Advocate Mahere and Dr Gwaunza were trending. They literally set Twitter on fire for Zimbabweans. What started off as a guy shooting his shot, turned into a movement, a force for good and brought joy to us Zimbabweans during such trying times. By the way I have written about Shooting your shot, and you can read it here. So back to today’s story. The biggest lesson from all this for me was how brands, big or small can make use of moment marketing to drive reach and engagement. If you are not on Twitter, don’t worry I will bring you up to speed on what happened. I will share on brands that i think did well and those that i believe did extremely well.

The tweet that started it all!

So above is the tweet that started it all. In response, Fadzayi said she would go on a date with Lenon if he got 100 retweets. I am not sure how many followers Lenon had before he tweeted on Thursday the 23rd. When I checked on Friday the 24th around 11am, he had just over 1000 Twitter followers. At the time of writing this post ( Saturday 25th night), he is now close to 7000 followers on Twitter. Fadzayi has always been a “powerhouse” on Twitter and currently has close to 240 000 followers. I am sure there was significant follower growth for her too over the last two days.

Anyhow, it didn’t take a long time for Lenon to get the 100 retweets that Fadzayi had set as a condition for the date to happen. The goalposts were then shifted and Fadzayi said she would go for the date if the retweets got to 5000.

At that stage the responsive brands caught on to what was happening and immediately got into gear. Mambo’s Chicken was one of the first ones to respond with the tweet below.

From Fadzayi’s response, she had actually never tasted Mambo’s chicken. So not only did the brand get more exposure, they also have other potential customers. Other brands that responded at that stage were Cresta Hotels that promised to host the date post the lockdown. It wasn’t difficult for the Dr to get to the 5000 retweets that had been set. Who doesn’t like a good love story? Even some of Fadzayi’ s friends were on #teamLenon.

In my opinion gears shifted when Tawanda Nyambirai a well known Zimbabwean lawyer and businessman intervened to “save” Fadzayi from the date by offering a ventilator to a hospital in response to COVID-19. At that stage this moved from being a public pre-date exchange between two people to a citizen driven national initiative to meet the various challenges brought about by COVID-19 in Zimbabwe. Fadzayi and Lenon happened to be at the centre of the beautiful occurrence.

In my opinion, this is when gears shifted

Other well known people in the country put their support behind the “movement”. The British High Commissioner to Zimbabwe weighed in with the below tweet, and so did the leader of the opposition, Nelson Chamisa.

And the stakes were increased when Fadzayi responded with yet another change in goalposts.

The brands that did extremely well are those that elevated their responses beyond the Dr and the Advocate and responded to community needs especially given the wide range of challenges the country is facing. A few examples below.

Free CT Brain Scans for 3 medical outreach programs
Free eye screening for an old people’s home
Free rooftop solar to an old people’s home or orphanage
Another free solar installation

The one above got several enquiries after he posted his pledge. See below.

Enquiries for business

The pledges for #Zimagainstcovid19 are still coming in. The USD5000,00 was exceeded on Friday night. Donations to both the trust, the date and other worthy causes are still coming in. You can still make your donation.

Sponsor COVID-19 Testing in Zimbabwe

So let’s get to the marketing lessons. Did big brands in Zimbabwe miss an opportunity yesterday? Let’s start with a definition.

Moment marketing is the ability to take advantage of an event to deliver relevant and related, seemingly spontaneous, and often fleeting interactions with customers in real time.

Moment marketing isn’t and should not substitute the always- on digital campaigns. It should be employed to strategically complement core campaigns and drive more brand reach and engagement.

Most big brands are most likely to have their social media calendars for the month already set and signed off in advance. That is all good. It is however important to have a procedure in place that allows the Social Media Manager to quickly come up with content that is relevant to events as they happen and get the approvals before the momentum fizzles out.

There were big Zimbabwean brands I expected to see responding to the MahereGwaunza date and I think they might have missed an opportunity. What do you think? Do you think there are brands that missed an opportunity yesterday? Which ones? What should they have said? Share your views in the comments section.

Published by Mum in Stilettos

I started blogging when i became a mother. I was struggling to manage the demands of being a working mom and being present for my baby's key development milestones. Initially this was a rant about my experiences in the office and at home. Over the years it has evolved into an online support community for mothers who are growing their families as they grow their careers. I am a wife and mum to 3 amazing children. The girl who introduced me the "mother" title is 8 years ol and our twins are five years, 6 months. During the day I am have a job i love as marketer for a multinational FMCG company. When i get home, I have another equally rewarding job called being a mother. When everyone is tucked in bed, I find time to blog about my journey as a mum in stilettos and build this community for us working moms so we can thrive at home and at work.

2 thoughts on “Seizing the moment…..did Zimbabwe’s big brand marketers miss an opportunity from the Advocate Mahere & Dr Gwaunza Date?

  1. This was very interesting. I don’t know about the big brands missing out of the action but I do know that the 5000 dollars raised and other donations made wouldnt have been possible if this sex innuendo etc euphoria had been missing. By the way , would have been nice to know what this doc does and where he is from and what he is all about. Would also be interesting to know If these guys end up having that date, please let us know lol. Love me some modern day romance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. From a marketer’s perspective, it was a big miss for big brands in Zimbabwe. Events and stories such as these are great for a marketer to drive reach and engagement. I don’t believe the money was raised because of any sex innuendo in the story. The simple reason is the cause for which people are donating is worthy. It was just a guy trying his luck on a girl publicly. The girl happens to be very popular. About the Dr, he is a Neurologist, was also a part time lecturer at UZ in the Faculty of Medicine. From his Twitter profile he is based in South Africa. He wasn’t well known until the tweet. As I mentioned his followers on Twitter are now nearing 10 000 from just over 1000 on Friday morning.
      It is indeed a great love story and I love how it is progressing.

      Liked by 1 person

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