Twitter is no stranger to turf wars. Seems like every week, opposing towns or teams are barking out why they’re better than the other. But the recent Twitter showdown between Cincinnati and Charlotte is social media war of a different flavor. At the center of battle between to two towns? Bananas. That’s right — both cities engaged in a war of the hashtags, with each all hoping to become the hometown of Chiquita bananas.
This September, Chiquita announced it was considering moving its headquarters from Cincinnati, Ohio. The brand claimed international travel had become burdensome and it was seeking out a new town to call home. Cincinnati residents, who have seen their share of big businesses flee their city, weren’t going to take this corporate exodus lying down. The hashtag #NoCincyBananaSplit was launched by citizens who wanted to keep the produce distributor in their city.
But the good people of Charlotte, North Carolina were ready do whatever they could to lure Chiquita away from Cincinnati. The charming Southern town soon put up its dukes with a hashtag of its own: #Bananas4CLT. The folks at Chiquita couldn’t have been more thrilled. A simple suggested move of their headquarters has turned into a national discussion of their brand, complete with a good-natured Twitter battle. According to the Washington Post, Chiquita CEO Fernando Aguirre cheered on the war. Businesses from both towns, including restaurants and hotels, joined the hashtag-hurling fight. Charlotte was announced to be the new hometown of Chiquita last week.
Naturally, Chiquita is the true champion here. The brand locally trended — and for free — while the war was raging and consumers tweeted their loyalty to the company. Regardless of the winner, it’s nice to see hashtags being used as a positive battle cry. Twitter marketing has the power to get people involved and excited about topics, even if their cause doesn’t win. And cheer up, Cincinnati — you’ll always have this claim to fame that no banana can take from you.