This article was published on February 4, 2012

Toyota takes to spamming Twitter for Camry Super Bowl ‘promotion’

Toyota takes to spamming Twitter for Camry Super Bowl ‘promotion’
Drew Olanoff
Story by

Drew Olanoff

Drew Olanoff was The Next Web's West Coast Editor. He coined the phrase "Social Good" and invented the "donation by action" model for onlin Drew Olanoff was The Next Web's West Coast Editor. He coined the phrase "Social Good" and invented the "donation by action" model for online charitable movements. He founded #BlameDrewsCancer. You can follow him on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, or email [email protected]

Twitter is a great platform to get people stoked about anything, if done right. You can promote potato chips like @popchips does, and it could turn into a huge following for your brand and have fun doing it.

Or, you can do it completely wrong and annoy the hell out of people by spamming them on Twitter. Toyota opted for the second choice, spam people.

In what is probably the worst Twitter promotion I’ve seen on the platform since the company launched in 2006, Toyota has created a slew of accounts and is spamming people about what it is calling the “Camry Effect a Friend’ Giveaway!”. The worst part is that they’re all verified accounts, so while Twitter isn’t involved in the promotion, someone at the company definitely knows about it.

Surely a company as big as Toyota did some research first, targeting people who would really be jazzed about this promotion right? Nope. It appears as if all of these accounts are spitting out the same junk to people who use any hashtags or phrases having to do with the Super Bowl. Tweets with hashtags like #giants and #patriots are causing these Camry accounts to reply to you in an effort to get you to sign up to win a car for your friend or something:

The accounts I’ve seen doing this are @CamryEffect, @CamryEffect1, @CamryEffect2, @CamryEffect3, @CamryEffect4, and @CamryEffect5. There are probably more, so you get the picture.

Like I mentioned, the worst part about all of this is that these accounts have all been blessed by Twitter as being “verified”. I’m not sure what the company was thinking when they verified a grip of accounts with similar names. It just screams “spam”.

Take a look at this “promotion” from one of Toyota’s accounts:

All this poor girl did was mention her favorite team, the Patriots. I’ve seen some chitter chatter from friends on the service and they’re all reporting the accounts for spam. So far it hasn’t worked, and hopefully it’s not because these accounts are verified. Twitter has enough to worry about during the Super Bowl weekend, like staying online, and this certainly isn’t a good way to start.

What do you think about Toyota’s promotion? Tell us in the comments!

UPDATE: It appears as if the Twitter accounts owned by Toyota that we mentioned above have all been switched over to “private”, and we received this comment from Toyota:

We apologize to anyone in the Twitterverse who received an unwanted @reply over the past few days. We were excited to share the message of our Camry Effect campaign in a new way and it was never our intention to displease anyone.
We’ve certainly learned from this experience and have suspended the accounts effective immediately to avoid any additional issues.
Kimberley Gardiner, National Digital Marketing & Social Media Manager, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc.

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