By Annie Pettit

First, I laughed out loud. 

Then I shared it on my personal Twitter account.

Then I emailed it to my friend.

Then I shared it with my colleague.

An hour later I was still laughing to myself.

And when I got home that evening, I chatted with my spouse about it.

For a Twitter post containing just nine unhelpful words about a marshmallow sandwich, I dedicated a lot of brain time to it. But there’s a fabulous lesson behind my laughter.

Voice matters.

We expect a lot from brands. We expect them to be professional, helpful, resourceful, and respectful. When it comes to food and snack companies, we expect them to share an abundance of recipe ideas especially around holidays that celebrate families. When we complain about food products online, we expect them to apologize immediately and try to make things right. When we ask questions about their food, we expect them to do anything in their power to find the answers and get us through whatever precarious situation we’re in.

So when the Twitter manager at MoonPie decided to answer a consumer’s recipe request, silly as it was, with a flippant, unhelpful remark, it went completely against everything we expect from mainstream brands trying to stay on top of the pack. And we laughed.

Why was that flippant remark such a success? How did an unhelpful reply generate 114,000 likes, 31,000 shares, and over 250 comments (as of right now!)?

Because the voice of the reply was in keeping with the brand. 

If MoonPie had been truly helpful and found a kitchen-tested recipe, say for chopping up MoonPies and using them instead of dried bread crumbs, it might have been helpful. If they’d offered advice on how to put MoonPies into a turkey without damaging the pies or the turkey, it might have been respectful. But neither of those responses would have been funny, let alone hilarious. And neither of them would have been in keeping with the MoonPie brand voice – fun and friendly.

It’s a good reminder that properly implementing your brand voice can have amazingly positive ramifications. Of course, you need to take the time to figure out what your brand voice is. Is it silly and flippant? Is it formal and professional? Is it casual and relaxed? Our Brand Print tool can help you truly understand the essence of your brand so feel free to download it. Or give us a shout to find out how we might be able to help you.

And now that I’ve completely analyzed the fun out of that tweet, I hope you will enjoy your family time this weekend. Do let us know how your turkey stuffed with MoonPies turned out!