Do you follow @GroundhogPhil on Twitter yet?
Last year around this time I realized there was a huge missed opportunity for promoting Groundhog Day in social media.
So I went ahead and set Phil up with a Twitter account. @PunxsutawneyPhil was one character longer than Twitter allows, so I went for @GroundhogPhil.
To be fair, at the end of last year’s Groundhog Day, I wrote, “If you represent Punxsutawney Phil and/or Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, I will glady turn over the Twitter account to you. I’m just having some fun, so please shoot me a note.” But I never heard from anyone.
This year I’d forgotten about the account until I got a new follower e-mail notification indicating Laura Fitton (@pistachio) was following @GroundhogPhil.
This is hilarious for a couple reason: 1) no one had followed Phil for nearly a year; 2) at SXSW a couple years ago, my friend Nathan and I (virtually) stole Laura’s shoe, and she ended up slapping Nathan; 3) Laura is a Twitter expert and who knows what she thinks of character Twitter accounts.
So I busted out the password reset and started tweeting for Phil again this year. Here are some of my favs so far:
Hugo Chavez reportedly accusing US of testing weapon of mass de-sunshine in Punx, PA to mess with my prediction.6:48 PM Jan 22nd from UberTwitter
Mustache guy just stuck a hose in my burrow attached to his jeep’s exhaust pipe. I think the stress is getting to him.3:24 PM Jan 22nd from web
They say we’re young and we don’t know, We won’t find out until we grow… Babe…I got you babe.. #musicmonday
10:18 AM Jan 19th from web
Winter! I just love hats, coats, mittens AND sniffles! Let’s do this the rest of the year.
8:05 AM Jan 19th from UberTwitter
Moustache guy just dropped off a Snuggie and Mad Men on Blu-Ray. I aint coming out for months.
8:35 PM Jan 18th from UberTwitter
And…. still winter. In your face, people.
8:49 AM Jan 18th from UberTwitter
My prediction: Chuck Norris will get sick of winter and roundhouse kick the earth to tilt its axis and make it summer.
8:30 PM Jan 16th from UberTwitter
Saturday night, and I’m about to prognosticate up some pizza rolls.
4:59 PM Jan 16th from mobile web
A week ago, the tourism folks at VisitPA.com have moved Phil into the 21st century with a sweet text campaign:
Sign up to get a text of Punxsutawney Phil’s Febuary 2, 2010 Weather prognostication from Gobblers Knob via your moble device by texting “Groundhog” to 247365 between now and Groundhog Day.
They have a Facebook Page and @visitpa Twitter account, too. However, they’re both overtly tourism focused and don’t follow through on the social character personality promise of the text campaign.
So I’ve continued tweeting as Phil. Yesterday, on the same day as Apple’s iPad announcement, PETA suggested Phil be replaced by a robot.
So Phil had some fun with it:
@PETA The idea that a robot could predict weather better than a rodent living beneath the ground is simply foolish. #iPhil
about 10 hours ago from web
Moustache guy is pretty shook up about this PETA robot thing. I’m getting a burrow makeover, complete with HDTV and a Wii!
5:08 PM Jan 27th from UberTwitter
Instead of a robotic groundhog to replace me, how about PETA sends over naked Pam Anderson from those anti-fur ads?
9:49 AM Jan 27th from web
And it was a surprise to get an @-reply from @peta!
@GroundhogPhil How lovely 2 hear from u Phil. Hope u get that holiday u deserve! http://ow.ly/11r38
about 11 hours ago from HootSuite in reply to GroundhogPhil
There have actually been quite a few interesting people to strike up conversations with Phil this year. See some of the better ones here.
Okay, so I’m in year two of brandjacking Punxsutawney Phil. As I said last year, this is yet another example of why it’s critical companies, brands and individuals proactively stake out their online reputation.
Meanwhile, I’m not clever or entrepreneurial enough to keep this up. I’m hoping someone will respond to the note below and take it from here. Otherwise, who knows? Perhaps Phil will start speaking Spanish next year.
NOTE: If you represent Punxsutawney Phil and/or Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, I will glady turn over the Twitter account to you. I’m just having some fun, so please shoot me a note.