Well Australian department stores Myer and David Jones might have abysmal Web 1.0 websites – and snub indie bloggers when it comes to their fashion shows. But it’s never too late to embrace social media and it looks like Myer is off to a flying start. Overnight the net has been abuzz with news that Tom Cruise shopped at Myer Melbourne yesterday with daughter Suri in tow. And furthermore, that he purchased a lipgloss from Australian beauty brand Bloom. How do we know? Well checking Twitter Search – and online time stamps – the news was first broken on Twitter by "Court Robbo" at approximately 5.23pm, noting, “Have only lovely things to say about Tom and Suri Cruise ...who i just met in myer melbourne!” We don’t know much about Court Robbo, other than the fact that he/she both follows, and is followed by, people with advertising industry connections. At the same time, Miranda Malaniuk chimed in on Twitter with the following observation: “Tom Cruise spotted shopping at Myer. Bought a $15 stick horse from toys. On sale. Tightarse.."
One hour later, Myer’s official Twitter feed retweeted (re-posted) both Tweets.
One hour after that, Bloom cosmetics provided the following information by Twitter:
“News just in - TOM CRUISE buys Lip Gloss Amore from Myer Melbourne. EXCITING”
At exactly the same time that Bloom was Tweeting, Hot30 Countdown - the 2Day FM radio program hosted weeknights from 7-10pm by Tim Lee and Carla “Biggzy” Bignasca, and yes out of Sydney – posted the following on its Twitter feed:
“Tom Cruise & Suri shopping at Myer!”
The Tweet was accompanied by the above image of Cruise and daughter with, conveniently, a Myer shopping bag. The shot looks to have been taken from a cameraphone.
Within minutes, Australia blogger Helen Lee spotted the Bloom Tweet and penned a blog post about Cruise’s lip gloss purchase on her Sassybella blog.
Two hours later, at 9.25pm, The Melbourne Herald Sun reported that Cruise and Suri were in Myer, but that Suri had merely "played" with Bloom's products.
Lee might be in Sydney, but evidently her intel is better than The Herald Sun's.
Apart from numerous other Cruise/Myer/Bloom tweets and retweets, overnight New York magazine’s The Cut blog picked up on the Sassybella story and off it went across the net – until Marie Claire Australia and sundry other locals got to work this morning to discover that it was news.
All up, a great PR get for both Myer and Bloom. While the normally reclusive Cruise may feel a little played – and soiled.
It's a great example of how marketers are using social media to flog their products.
But just how well are they using it? Is Court Robbo, for example, connected to Myer advertising in any way? And did Myer supply the photo?
According to a 2Day FM spokeswoman, the shot of Cruise was emailed to the station by a Melbourne woman called "Marie" from Pascoe Vale, Victoria. She received a prize for emailing the photo.
The spokeswoman noted, “They spoke to her on air, she sounded like she was in her early 20s”.
The listener had originally phoned in to 2Day FM’s Melbourne affiliate, Fox FM, which has been running a competition to find Tom Cruise.
The spokeswoman said she was unaware of any connection between the listener and Myer - but confirmed that Myer is an advertiser with 2DayFM and, she assumes, nationally as well.