Heineken shakes things up and Shashi Tharoor wins the Twitter battle

Great PR

Shashi Tharoor wins the war of Tweets with “Priceless” PR

This is turning out to be quite a week for Shashi Tharoor. It began with his re-entry into the Cabinet as Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development, after the weekend Cabinet reshuffle.

Then the author politician, who is never at a loss for a few choice words on any subject, was soon trending on Twitter over a tweet defending his wife from Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi. Here’s the story so far.  Modi took pot shots at Shashi Tharoor at an election rally referring indirectly to Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar as an Rs 50 crore girlfriend. The Economic Times reports Modi as saying, "Brothers and sisters, in this country, has anybody ever seen a 50 crore girlfriend?”

The reference is to the IPL cricket controversy of 2009-10, where Tharoor lost his job as minister of state for external affairs, in 2010 after it emerged that his wife allegedly had sweat equity in the Kochi Indian Premier League cricket franchise.

Enraged Tharoor, who has over 1.5 million followers on Twitter, put out this tweet , tagging the Gujarat Chief minister:


@narendramodi My wife is worth a lot more than your imaginary 50 crores. She is priceless. But you need2be able2love some1 2understand that

Many in the social media immediately jumped in to support Tharoor, at last count this tweet has been retweeted over 1600 times. It also crossed over to traditional media with every major English language paper in the country, The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Indian Express putting the story on their front page. Economic Times, which is the world’s second largest business daily, after the Wall Street Journal, even quoted the tweet, on the front page, directly under the coveted masthead position. TV news channel, CNN IBN also jumped in with this quote from Tharoor, with a graphics band saying “Tharoor’s Love Bite to Modi”.

The tweet is now in Modi’s court, so to speak, no slouch himself in the art of media generating bytes.

Missing Briefcases helps Heineken shake and stir the audience

Beer maker Heineken used an interesting social media campaign to push their link with the latest Bond movie, Skyfall. As India does not allow direct advertisement of alcohol and tobacco products, Heineken concentrated its publicity on a Twitter and Facebook campaign round the Skyfall premier in India, on November 2nd, 2012. This video highlights the challenge where you get on a train to spot the briefcase, spotting it correctly won players tickets to the Delhi and Mumbai Skyfall premier.

Pleased winners are already driving traffic to the page. It’s also an interesting additional PR drive for Skyfall, which is mostly celebrity led.

A good way to generate PR around a product that cannot be advertised.

Have you seen any great or even bad PR?

Contact Paarul Chand by emailing paarul@prmoment.in or tweet @PRmomentIndia throughout the week and we’ll happily credit you for your trouble.