A parody Twitter account with about 90,000 followers was suspended yesterday without warning. The account @ZIbrahomovic has been entertaining Twitter users for almost two years with funny, but fake, quotes from Swedish football icon Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The account has been up front with the fact that it is not the real Zlatan, but that hasn’t stopped several Swedish news outlets from publishing it as real quotes. SVT, the Swedish public service tv channel, once published a fake quote that said:
“If FIFA does not give me the Ballon d’Or I need to talk to Santa Claus”
And Dagens Nyheter, the largest Swedish daily, once published a quote that read:
“Ronaldo will never play in PSG. They don’t produce as much hairspray in France as he needs.”
Both fake, of course. But now the parody account has been closed down without a warning, which is a bit odd, since there are plenty of other accounts that are allowed to continue as long as they state in the Twitter bio that they are not the person or company they pretend to be.
Funny Twitter chat
The closing down of “fake Zlatan” coincides with a hilarious Twitter Q&A that the real Ibrahimovic (@ibra_official) held yesterday under the Nike campaign hashtag #daretozlatan. Whether there is a connection between the two things remains to be seen. Zlatan’s PR Manager has declined that he has asked Twitter to suspend the account.
Metro in the UK has a list of some of the great chat responses from Ibra. Read them here. If you ask me, they are a little to good to be from Zlatan himself, but then again, I’m a born skeptic…
Nike has bought the naming rights to a public park in central Tokyo with the purpose of building a skateboarding area and a café. Miyashita Park will be renamed “Nike Park” and in total, Nike plan to spend around 600m yen (5.6 million dollars) renovating the park. But the investment also comes with some downsides, at least if you’re not a skateboard fan. Nike plans to charge a fee in order to use the skating area or even entering the park, which of course is a controversial change for a place that used to be open free to the public. A number of homeless people will also be forced to leave the park.
The story is quite interesting since Nike obviously is investing heavily in restoring a run down area with the purpose of achieving positive associations to the brand. But the resistance is quite strong and vocal, which we can see by studing how the story is debated online. Human rights activists have founded The Coalition to Protect Miyashita Park from Becoming Nike Park which of course has a blog, and anti-Nike posters are spreading across the blogosphere (see examples here). Trendspotting also claims that “human rights” activist are much more active in Japanese blogs than “Nike lovers”.
The story is also featured on the front page as one of the most linked to news on Japan’s number one social bookmarking site Japan Soc, which would possibly indicate that Nike has got some work to do to change public opinion in favour of their initiative.
Tags: branding, nike, tokyo, nike park, nike, japan. Ping.
The FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany is no doubt big business and we can’t wait to see Sweden kick some serious bu.., I mean footballs. Until then, here are a few interesting stories and marketing stunts from around the globe.
– From Adidas: German keeper Oliver Kahn as a 65 meter long poster over a motorway bridge near Munich. Incredibly cool, if you disregard the fact that Kahn is only second goalie to Jens Lehmann.
– Below: ESPN commercial for its World Cup coverage. Bono says Ivory Coast qualification ends civil war.
– What does “5862709402” mean? It’s a number made up of the last two digits the years that Brazil has won the World Cup. Nike sells t-shirts with that number. Read more about the Nike vs Adidas battle here. For the first time Nike sponsors more teams in the World Cup than its rival. See also Joga Bonito.
– Nike Joga3 football vending machine.
– “A voodoo doll with five pins and the national emblems of all your enemy teams. Toilet paper with World Cup trivia. Pork slices emblazoned with a soccer player dribbling down the field.” Germany has gone football mad.
– Business Week: “Officials expect 32 billion cumulative viewers to tune in”. Advertisers are drooling.
Hat tip: Adrants, Agenda Inc. Tags: world cup, Sweden, Paraguay, fotbolls-vm.