The 2012 Daytona 500 was a race that will go into the history books for many reasons.  The first one to be rained out;  the first one run at night, the first one to finish early on a Tuesday morning (giving new meaning to the term 24 Hours of Daytona…yes I know it’s called the Rolex 24).  Just when race fans and onlookers thought they had seen it all, Juan Pablo Montoya hits a jet dryer trying to dry the track. A huge fire threatens to damage the track. Driver Brad Keselowski sent the first tweet ever from the track at a NASCAR race while a race was in progress.  Kesolowski took this picture .

Then came the Tide. Boxes and boxes of Tide laundry detergent. They must have had to buy out Wal-Mart’s entire supply from the entire southeastern United States!

Tide is one of Proctor and Gamble‘s many brands. You may recall reading that Cincinnati-based P&G laid off 1600  advertising employees and cut traditional advertising because…as the headline read…Social Media was “free”. I never thought that any executive at P&G really thought that Social Media was “free”. However, while boxes and boxes of Tide detergent were being poured on the raging fire, the reaction from Tide was…..silence. (You’ve reached Tide’s Twitter account after business hours. Please check back at 8am Eastern Time. No they didn’t really say that.) The way Twitter and Facebook lit up talking about the Tide brand could have done wonders for free publicity, but Tide’s Social Media team didn’t “have it’s ears on”.

Opportunities, consumer complaints, requests for help with a product all reasons for your brand to be monitored 24/7/365. What tie-ins could have been made for Tide right then and there that passed them by?

Our shared experiences are now shared on social media. No matter what your brand, if you aren’t participating in the conversation, someone else is having the conversation without you.