I’ve presented and written about the brilliance of the Taylor Swift brand in the past, but rumors of her being the subject of another celebrity social media hacking incident once again has me in praise of Ms. Swift and her team.
As the story goes, Taylor’s social media account was “hacked” and the “hackers” threatened to release personal information and (gasp) nude photos.
Team Taylor responded with two brilliant posts and totally defused the situation in less than 280 characters.
First, she paraphrased the words to her single “Shake It Off” to read: “Hackers gonna hack, hack, hack hack.” (My apologies, anyone who’s heard the song knows that once it’s in your head, you won’t be able to get it out for awhile.) Point: she already had art that could take on such an issue and she deflected everyone to it.
Secondly, and more importantly blunting the nude bomb – a paraphrased post of “psh, you wish there were photos. Have fun Photoshopping” quelled the furor.
Whether nude photos actually exist is not the point. My guess is Team Taylor is so media savvy that nothing exists. But even if it does, by entering Photoshopping into the mix, she automatically created doubt around the authenticity. Brilliant!
Team Taylor 2 Hackers 0
So in the end, it’s probably a non-story, but a great example of how to turn the tide in your favor. She’s diffused a potential black eye situation, sold a few more downloads, and tied her brand in a positive way back into her art.
Most of us don’t have millions of followers, but there are some lessons in here for how to be smart and witty to protect and advance your brand given a situation which may be negative.
My disclaimer is that if I were a cynic, I might interpret the hack as a contrived incident to put Taylor Swift back on the top of the trending stories for the minute. However, I’d rather embrace my naiveté and believe that it was a smart response to a potential negative story.
Besides, it’s so hard to find a good hero (or heroine) to believe in these days!