Chipotle’s Twitter “Hack” Was A Planned Promotion

From the so-bizarre-it-has-to-be-true department: Chipotle has admitted that what looked like a case of its Twitter account being hacked was actually part of a current promotion.

It happened on Sunday when, during the course of about one hour, @ChipotleTweets sent out a stream of bizarre tweets that finally ended with a confession that “we had a little problem with our account.”


Now, Chris Arnold, Chipotle’s communications director, tells Mashable that “it was definitely thought out: We didn’t want it to be harmful or hateful or controversial.”

It was basically a ruse, he says, part of the company’s 20th anniversary “Adventurito” promotion, which involves customers trying to solve puzzles.

We thought that it really fit well within the context of our 20th anniversary promotion where we were putting clues in all sorts of things,” Arnold said. “We had clues pop up in a lot of places and thought that incorporating something into our social media presence would fit well into that promotion.

If nothing else, the stunt seems to have helped with Chipotle’s vanity metrics. Arnold says the restaurant added about 4,000 new followers on Sunday, compared to about 250 on a normal day, and the tweets were retweeted about 12,000 times, compared to about 75 per day normally.

Earlier this year, MTV pulled a similar Twitter stunt when it pretended to be hacked a day after Burger King’s and Jeep’s Twitter accounts were really hacked.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Social Media Marketing | Top News | Twitter


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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    If you get ‘hacked’ people don’t type stuff like a bloody moron. You’d think that anyone with some semblance of understanding of even using a brute force attack would have half a quid worth of brain power to NOT use their twitter as a search engine erroneously.

    The publicity they got from this is telling the world that they think we are all ignorant morons. I am sure that the demographic in the US who think the internet is a program on their blackberry (and only one type of person still use blackberry so we all know who we’re talking about here; low tech buffoons) would have been mystified and chuckled pasting stuff around being all “HURR YALL C DAT HAX DAT CO HAZ SMH” between posting vines of them talking smack, or ‘bae cort me slippin’ instagrams and overusing SMH.

    But the rest of the people in the world who aren’t suffering some heinous kind of mental retardation were well aware this was a stupid attempt to get attention, a cry for help of an ailing corporation who ought to be in receivership was the first thing to spring to my mind! Let’s just hope their customers punish them for it with a little bit of social justice! Because we all know no one is punishing Microsoft, Apple, Sony, and all the other big corporations involved in PRISM for spying on everyone across the world unconscionably.

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