Chipotle fakes Twitter hack, gains 4,000 followers in 1 day

Posted at 4:36 PM, Jul 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-26 16:37:46-04

Chipotle admitted that it faked a Twitter hack on July 21, 2013, as part of a promotion, and to gain followers. (Photo: Twitter / Chipotle)

DENVER — After a strange series of tweets earlier this week, Chipotle took to its Twitter account claiming that it had been hacked.

Later in the week, Chipotle spoke with Mashable and admitted they had faked the hack, and accomplished their ultimate goal — gaining Twitter followers. According to Chipotle representative Chris Arnold, the Mexican restaurant gained 4,000 followers in one day after reporting the fake hack.

“We thought that people would pay attention, that it would cut through people’s attention and make them talk, and it did that,” Arnold told Mashable. “It was definitely thought out: We didn’t want it to be harmful or hateful or controversial.”

Arnold went on to explain that Chipotle felt the tweet fit well into the framework of the “Adventurito” promotion that has been put forth to celebrate the Denver-based company’s 20th anniversary. The promotion features 20 days of puzzles.

Most of the fake hack tweets contained some reference to vegetables, and Arnold said this coming Sunday’s “Adventurito” puzzle centers on the ingredients Chipotle uses to make guacamole.

According to Mashable, Chipotle isn’t the first brand to fake having its Twitter account hacked. Shortly after Burger King and Jeep actually had their accounts hacked in February, both the MTV and BET networks decided to stage their own hacks to get in on the press coverage.