Social Media Goes Bananas Over the Ikea Monkey

Ikea MonkeyHave you heard the one about the monkey who walks into an Ikea store in Canada? If you’ve been on social media in the past 24 hours, you probably have.

Despite missing out on Black Friday deals, a rhesus monkey named Darwin was determined to finish his holiday shopping and made his way to a Toronto Ikea store, dressed in a shearling coat and diaper, the traditional shopping attire of the macaque kingdom.

Social media users jumped on the story and Twitter was quickly awash with mentions and images of the well-dressed little shopper. So far, as of 3pm EST, mentions of “Ikea” coupled with “monkey”, including the hashtag #ikeamonkey have reached over 36,500 total posts.

Ikea1

Twitter users @BronieWyn and @dzd_Lisa appear to be the first to tweet pictures of Darwin.

Takeaways

– You never know when your brand will find itself dragged into the news rather unexpectedly. In this case, Ikea does not appear to have suffered at all from the story, the animal was rounded up rather quickly, and with no harm done to patrons. Still, the brand has clearly generated plenty of social media references over the past 24 hours. A strong social media listening plan, including a playbook, will help make that sharp rise in mentions much easier to manage and workflow.

– Don’t be afraid to newsjack. All kidding aside, an animal loose in a retail store could end badly, so Ikea is wise to have not mentioned the event on their social media accounts (unless I have missed it) thus far. Still, now that Darwin is safely corralled and the story is a hit, it’s a great chance to revel in the free exposure.  Even a tweet about “customers going bananas for all these deals”, or something less hacky, could go over well.

(Note: A longer version of this post originally appeared on the Salesforce Marketing Cloud blog on December 10, 2012.)

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