Monday, April 18, 2016

Is #AirAsiaScam a competitor driven trend?

On 12th April, a popular Indian newspaper published a story, "Who really runs AirAsia India?" It raised some interesting questions about the operations of Air Asia. It stated that "Documents, emails show that Malaysia’s AirAsia Bhd has final say in decision-making, in violation of the  Indian law."

Today suddenly after approximately a week I saw #AirAsiaScam trending #1 on Twitter. This came barely hours after Air Asia announced Air fares starting at Rs 999 for flights across India.

The twitter trend #AirAsiaScam had a huge list of Twitter users who were constantly Tweeting about the story that came a week earlier (with almost similar content). A careful look at the Tweets does indicate that something is amiss. 
In the Tweets Below #DipanG118 suddenly realizes that she has to Tweet something about #AirAsiaScam.
Similarly @ItsNewBeginning  had back to back Tweets about the scam, which of course they had read a week earlier. I'm not sure if it's a scam though.
Farman too had similar thoughts on Air Asia. 
And there's more. Rahul singh too had similar thoughts and decided to Tweet about it within a span of a minute. It's humanly impossible to type that stuff and Tweet it in a minute. (Or may be Rahul is an expert at it)



If you notice a lot of them have similar things to say. First is about the great job done for writing the story (it indeed is) and second is about "Silence of the government". Let's look the the great job stuff.
Silence of the government too did bother them.
In high probability the trending of #AirAsiaScam is being driven by someone. Also the folks who are Tweeting about the issue have in high likelihood been incentivized by someone. It definitely draws attention. If you look closely and pay attention to the content you'll soon realize that this is junk.
Looking at the timing (coming hours after the announcement of fares), it is quite possible that a competitor is doing this (i.e. getting #AirAsiaScam to trend).

If that's the case (in high probability it is), it is an extremely bad attempt at misinforming the public. It is also a colossal waste of money.

One of the biggest challenges of marketing on social media is that while it is an information highway, it can suddenly become a mis-information However one needs to know that the consumer is not a moron. (she is your wife ~ David Ogilvy)



There are a few people who observed and criticized the twitter trend of #AirAsiaScam.