HOT HASHTAG: Calculating the Good Vibes of Big-League Bank Advertising

hashtag on the brain

this is your brain on hashtags.

Does a robust advertising campaign override negative social media sentiments?

SunTrust and PayPal’s most recent hashtags born out of their Super Bowl advertising imply, “Yes.”

Consider PayPal’s #newmoney hashtag attached to the advertising campaign it unveiled during the most recent Super Bowl. PayPal encourage viewers to change their conception of money, citing common irks of physical banking, like banks’ 5 p.m. closing time, and conflated PayPal’s transaction services with progress. As of this morning, #NewMoney has reached 1 million people.

But haters gonna hate, as they say, as evidenced by the opposing hashtag #paypalsucks. Reaching roughly 1,000 people, the anti-tag #paypalsucks represents but 0.1% of the #newmoney hashtag’s audience reach, according to data from This means that one out of every 926 PayPal users is not a fan.

Dissent amidst PayPal critics is oft creative, if not effective. One man even reversed PayPal’s co-opting the meaning of #newmoney, and leveled the company with the nouveau riche of yesteryear:

SunTrust has done even better than PayPal in this regard. Another newcomer to Super Bowl advertising, SunTrust’s hashtag, #onup, as of this morning had a total audience reach of 560,000, about half PayPal’s. The advertising, parenthetically, promotes the bank’s new website, which features tools and info designed to give a sense of constructive community with both other account holders and the bank itself. Just like PayPal, SunTrust and #onup have a shadow hashtag, #SunTrustsucks. However, that hashtag’s reach over the last 30 days is just one, meaning but one person has used it. Of course, the SunTrust brand is less ubiquitous than PayPal’s, so it take a while for customers to make the effort to connect the dots between new corporate initiatives and the firm behind their hashtag campaigns. Nevertheless, this doesn’t soften the voice of dissent on Twitter, as is obvious from this post:  

 Taken on balance, these two major advertising campaigns seem to have produced positive social vibes for their brands, seemingly a marketing touchdown, as it were.

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