It's always a risky move to invite the pitchfork-carrying crowd on Twitter to participate in a social media campaign associated with your brand, but when you're embattled like SeaWorld, it's almost guaranteed to be disastrous. They're finding out the hard way, after launching a campaign that started on TV and in print ads on March 23, inviting people on Twitter to ask it questions about its killer whale program.
The campaign appeared to coincide, according to USA Today, with the release of "Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish," written by a former Seaworld trainer John Hargrove who is harshly critical of SeaWorld's treatment of killer whales.
"You Ask. We Answer" was the campaign's tagline. And although there were a lot of facetious questions on Twitter, there didn't appear to be too many answers.
— Gina Kim (@ginaleekim) March 26, 2015
#AskSeaWorld Do you now call yourself an ABUSEMENT PARK?
— I'm your Huckleberry (@BringTheFlag) March 26, 2015
#AskSeaWorld how would you like to be taken away from all your friends and families, put in a prison and forced to perform tricks for food?
— olivia (@olivia8) March 26, 2015
— Apathetic Alto (@ApatheticAlto) March 26, 2015
Wondering at what point people will realize that hashtag-ready Twitter call-outs often backfire. #AskSeaWorld
— Keith Roysdon (@keithroysdon) March 26, 2015