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23/07/2009 by

Moonfruit: Short Success Or Long Term Failure?

Moonfruit. The campaign that was said to be the first seriously successful viral Twitter campaign. Moonfruit is a free website building service that was offering free MacBooks in exchange for exposure of their brand on Twitter. Each day, a random user that included the hashtag #moonfruit in one of their tweets was selected to win a MacBook.

Moonfruit announced:

To celebrate Moonfruit’s 10th birthday we are giving away 10 new release Macbook Pro’s, over 10 7 days! If you’ve never seen one of these in real life, they are just as svelte and beautifully crafted as they look in the pictures, we can’t keep our hands off them!

Their were no limits in number of mentions and you had to follow @moonfruit on Twitter in order to win a MacBook.


Now, almost three weeks after the ending of the campaign, its time to have a serious look at the impact of this (ab)use of the Twitterplatform.  Lets have a look at statistics and the influence on the Moonfruit brand.

Statistically, this campaign can be bookmarked in the tab of “high speed high attention“. With more then 200.000 mentions a day the campaign was highly successful when it comes to attention. Within 7 days, te account of Moonfruit gained over 45.000 new followers.


Number of mentions on Twitter

If you look at the graph above, you can see the campaign received a lot of attention in a short term for seven days. After this period, the attention dropped immediately back to the almost 0%.


Number of followers on Twitter

The graph above shows the number of followers in the period from half of June until today. The enormous growth is visible from the 30th of June until the 7th of July. After this period the numbers dropped back with about 10.000 followers.

However, the website itself only gained 600% of new traffic and 100% of new sign up to it service. Sounds like peanuts if you compare this to the number of mentions and the growth in the number of followers.

Twitter also didn’t really seem to like the attention action as well. They manually pulled #moonfruit out of the trending topic list in the sidebar of every Twitter users profile. Twitter didn’t really want to respond to their action, but Moonfruit saw what happened:

The campaign sets a dangerous precedent and could have implications for how Twitter is used and abused by marketers . . . it’s certainly their right to protect their network and technology investment

Personally, I didn’t like the campaign at all. It overflood the timeline from some of my friends and turned Twitter in a platform that was spammed with #moonfruit tweets. While they could have know that chances of winning were 0.0005%. People were seriously loosing friends by competing to win a MacBook with the Moonfruit campaign. I seriously unfollowed some followers because I turned absolutly crazy by their nonsense Tweets, just to make a mention of Moonfruit (Examples: “Gonna drink some #moonfruit tea”, “just walked with #moonfruit” and “#moonfruit #moonfruit #moonfruit!”), and I know I’m definatly not the only one that stopped following people because of the Moonfruit campaign. If your brand makes people defriend, then ask yourself, are you making properly use of the social dynamics of a platform?

Even though it pulled on some high traffic and awareness to the platform, it didn’t reach anything on the longterm. In my opinion, social media is the perfect tool to enhance your brand message, communicate your brand value and get in touch in a personal way with your consumers. I respect these kind of campaigns, but it doesn’t reach out to a long term focus.

Sources: SocialBug,,,, Mashable, Twittercounter, Twist.


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