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Nissin Cup Noodle’s Cheesy Twitter Advertisement

Updated: Apr 2, 2018

Nissin Cup Noodles has always been know for their wacky and hilarious advertisements. But this time, they went too far with their “Not Cheesy Enough” Twitter marketing campaign.

So, here’s the story of the disconnect between designers and their clients that led to this “disaster”. The first draft was a seemly ordinary advertisement promoting Nissin’s flagship milk seafood cup noodles.

Image from Nissin's Twitter account @cupnoodle_jp

Draft 1: Not Cheesy Enough

Nissin surprised audiences with another Tweet accompanied by this message, “Please give us a moment while we fix some mistakes in the previous image that were brought up by the client. They said it was not cheesy enough…” Who would think that a Japanese company like Nissin know for being meticulous would make mistakes?

Image from Nissin's Twitter account @cupnoodle_jp

Changes to Twitter Advertisement:

  1. Black hair has a normal feel, change the hair color to give it a cheese feel.

  2. Show that it is the most trendy and popular food product on the Internet.

  3. Give the background a farm feel.

  4. Can you show that even non-humans love our product?

  5. Make the product more prominent.

  6. Make her laugh more! (especially the eyes and mouth)

With the client’s new requirements, the designers went back to work and produced the second draft of the Twitter advertisement. It was accompanied by the message, “The image has been corrected. The cheese feeling ... Is it out?”

Draft 2: More Futuristic

Image from Nissin's Twitter account @cupnoodle_jp

But… Lo and behold, the clients wanted to achieve perfection and wanted to make more revisions to the advertisement. Now things start to get ridiculous!

Image from Nissin's Twitter account @cupnoodle_jp

Some minor revisions:

  1. Overall the feel is weak, like a normal Internet cooking recipe. The look and feel needs to be more futuristic.

  2. Birds should look like the Twitter bird

  3. She should look at the product.

  4. Why does the sky look so gloomy?

  5. Place a huge digital brain here

  6. Show that even aliens are jealous of our product.

  7. Make the kids ride high tech skateboards, make people feel the joys of the internet.

  8. Make the cow run like a horse.

  9. Place the product in front of the panda to show that now is not the time to eat bamboo leaves. After that make the panda look like a cow.

  10. Doesn’t relate to the product, make the pigs sleep.

  11. Can you make it feel like cheese just by looking at it. Try please?

  12. Shorten the text, don’t overlap with the product.

  13. Right hand is empty? Make her hold a laptop.

  14. Make it feel like it pairs with wine.

  15. This is a winter product, the trees need to have snow.

  16. Want a winter look, trim the trees.

Draft 3: The Best Social Media Campaign?

And finally, Nissin has become to envy of every social media marketer and created the best Twitter campaign ever! Hmmm... but who is the advertisement targeting? Cows? Pandas? Aliens?

Image from Nissin's Twitter account @cupnoodle_jp

Nissin's Marketing Lessons

Despite the outrageous Twitter advertisement, there are many lessons to learn from Nissin’s Twitter campaign. The campaign went viral in Japan and generated 305K Likes and 178K Retweets (2X more engagement) in three days. Looks like Nissin was the one who had the last laugh!

1. Set your campaign goals. For Nissin, the campaign goal was to promote their milk seafood noodles to their target market; teenagers and students.

2. Develop a plan. Although the series of tweets look spontaneous, it takes market research and planning to come up with a winning marketing strategy.

3. Choose your social networks. For consumer products, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest are more relevant. For B2B marketing, use platforms like LinkedIn instead. Nissin chose to use Twitter it is one of the most popular social media in Japan with 50.2% penetration or 25.1 million active users (from Statista). In addition, Twitter is popular among their target audience, with 52.3% of users between 13-29 years old (from MIC).

4. Appeal to the values and desires of your target audience. Nissin used phrases like “Needs to be more futuristic”, “high tech skateboard”, “most trendy and popular… on the Internet” to convey a trendy, modern brand image to appeal to Japanese teenagers.

5. Use humor! A Neilson report found that ads with a strong emotional appeal generated a 23% increase in sales.

6. Be creative. Stand out from your competitors.

With the lessons learnt from Nissin’s Twitter campaign, you are all set to launch your very own social media marketing campaigns. Build brand awareness, promote your products and drive sales today!

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