Earlier this week, a 15 year old took charge of Southern Rail’s Twitter account. This wasn’t a hack, this was Eddie and it was genius. It’s fair to say that sentiment towards Southern Rail isn’t usually high and the usual interactions between commuters and @SouthernRailUK aren’t fit for publishing. Over-crowding, delays, over-crowding because of delays are the usual banter the social media department are dealing with. But not Eddie. Eddie who announced himself as ‘Hi, Eddie here! Here on work experience and ready to answer your questions’ had a completely different set of questions to answer and dealt with a remarkably different sentiment towards the brand.
Here’s a selection of both the finest questions and answers from #AskEddie
Q: What’s the biggest animal you could single-handedly cling-film to a lamp post?
A: Probably a sloth. I can’t picture them running away
Q: Eddie, would you rather have rollerblades for feet or chopsticks for hands for the rest of your life?
A: Rollerblades for feet, I feel like I would get used to them pretty quickly and be able to get places quicker! You?
Q: Hey Eddie, do you think Jon Snow is going to meet Daenerys and Tyrion and rule Westeros?
A: I’m sorry. I never get a chance to watch Channel 4 news
Q: What is love anyway?
As a PR and social campaign, this was genius. From what most describe as a hated brand, Southern Rail offered an afternoon of relief for the 160,000+ Twitter followers and generated ongoing goodwill. It also demonstrated that brands can afford to take risks – imagine pitching the idea to upper Southern Rail management that we offer up the work experience kid to handle our social media for the afternoon. But it was well executed and managed.
For every #AskEddie campaign, there’s countless other social media mishaps but well played to Southern Rail for taking a risk on Tuesday afternoon with Eddie.
By Paul Dixon