On Sunday, king of the modern burrito, Chipotle appeared to have its Twitter account hacked when @ChipotleTweet posted a string of confusing and undecipherable tweets. The company has come forward to admit that the hack was an inside job and was tied to a publicity stunt for its 20th anniversary promotion.
"We thought that people would pay attention, that it would cut through people's attention and make them talk, and it did that," Chris Arnold, a Chipotle representative, tells Mashable in an interview. "It was definitely thought out: We didn't want it to be harmful or hateful or controversial."
The stunt was used as a fun and innovative way to celebrate its 20th anniversary with a 20-day long treasure hunt called “Adventurito.” The game will feature 20 days of puzzles (and fun!). A majority of the random tweets were fragments about ingredients the company uses in its amazingly delicious guacamole, and Arnold claims the stunt was intended to tie into Sunday’s puzzle
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"We thought that it really fit well within the context of our 20th anniversary promotion where we were putting clues in all sorts of things," Arnold tells Mashable. "We had clues pop up in a lot of places and thought that incorporating something into our social media presence would fit well into that promotion."
The stunt worked. Chipotle added more than 4,000 followers the day of the fake hack, which is a huge increase to its daily rate of normally around 250 new followers. The tweets have not been deleted and have been impressively retweeted over 12,000 times. Chipotle normally sees around 75 retweets a day.