Tag Archives: manager

A perfect World Cup tweet gone wrong

18 Jun

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I’ve decided that when Taylor Swift first sang the words ‘I knew you were trouble when you walked in’ she was talking about one of two things: 1D’s Harry Styles or the perils of social media.

Social media is a bear trap for brands and the latest honey to lure them in is the World Cup. Put simply, if a tweet misses the net the person behind the shot will end up paying the price.

Playing the hand you’re Delta
On Monday night Delta Airlines decided to keep its 690,000+ followers updated on the final score of the USA (2) vs Ghana (1) match with this tweet.

20140618-103129.jpgAn ignorant stereotype
On the outside this looks like a great tweet. It’s factual, engaging and makes the most of iconic photography.

Look a little closer and you’ll see that it was all going so well until the company decided that the photo that best defined Ghana was a giraffe.

Moments later, experts quickly pointed out that giraffes don’t live in Ghana (If you didn’t already know this go straight to jail. Do not pass go and do not collect £200.)

In fact, with a bit of digging the experts discovered that this stock image had Kenya written all over it. (Well, you know what I mean.) So, there’s no reason, or excuse, for the Delta team to have got this one wrong.

Not only does it make the brand look a little unworldly – believe me for a travel company that’s not the adjective you want to be associated with – but also a little uncaring.

Cue the apology
To right its wrong, Delta did the only thing it could do in this situation: issue a public apology.

But, I can only imagine that its community manager was trembling with fear because it added an unnecessary step to its sorry note. It made a typo by referring to its ‘precious’ tweet (opposed to previous).

20140618-114716.jpgI’ve previously said that if a link between a brand and an event isn’t obvious then they shouldn’t be wading into the conversation at all.

Global events, like the World Cup, are not only notoriously difficult to generate cut-through, but when brands do get noticed it’s often because a mistake’s been made.

Destroying the evidence
Not that you’d ever know Delta had been issued a yellow card. The offending image has disappeared from the timeline and the airline has spent the last day ‘doing a Sainsbury’s‘ by directly apologising to its critics.

Perhaps I’m not giving Delta enough credit. It may have been completely in control of this risky stunt. But, it’s not one that I’d ever recommend.

Ad slogan ‘Christians make better lovers’ causes underground frenzy

10 Jan

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Take a seat eHarmony, Match.com and Uniform Dating, there’s a new matchmaker in town, Christian Connection, and it’s wasted no time in making itself known in 2014.

The religious dating website may have been around since the millennium but outside of Christian circles, we can assume it’s not had much attention recently.

Launching across the London Underground, it plastered platforms with fun, vibrant slogans such as: ‘Another dating agency? Thank God!’, ‘God knew you would see this’ and ‘Christians make better lovers’ – and it’s certainly got a reaction.

Not only has it featured in The Telegraph, Huffington Post and Christian Today (so cliche) but Twitter is all a flutter with the advertising campaign too. It’s a great PR story in itself! I can’t say I’m surprised – it’s brilliant.

Created by Chas Bayfield, creative director at integrated agency Noah, he’s done what Christians everywhere have been waiting for – a fun, cheeky campaign which says ‘we can take a joke too’.

Of course we know that the term ‘lovers’ has connotations with sex, but hey we don’t have to take it too seriously because we know how to read between the lines and take it to another level. Needless to say Chas has done a great job on this because it instantly invites others – of all faiths – to have a laugh before actually thinking a bit harder about what they want in a partner.

And why has he done such a good job? It’s because Chas isn’t guessing or portraying what he thinks will work well. He’s heavily involved in Cricklewood Baptist Church in London. To me, that’s exciting and very inspiring, and will hopefully encourage more Christian businesses to partner with agencies that know their stuff and won’t shy away from the issue in hand. I know it’s something I aspire to do more of.

It just goes to show that if you have a brave client who has faith in their agency, and both believe in something far bigger than the campaign itself, then it’s definitely going places.

It’s early doors but this could definitely be a contender for the Prime Time Awards in the ‘Worth every penny category’.

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Coca-Cola loses its fizz after insulting customer

22 Sep

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Have you heard the one about Coca-Cola calling one of its customers a ‘retard‘ via its latest promotion?

Ok, maybe you haven’t because it happened in Canada. But here’s what happened:

Blake Loates bought home a bottle of Coca-Cola’s Vitamin Water earlier this week and she was in for a shock when she unscrewed the cap, which read ‘You Retard’ on the inside. Some people may have found it funny (personally I don’t, and even less so coming from a global brand) but Blake certainly didn’t because her sister suffers from cerebral palsy.

Her father wrote a letter of disgust forcing Coca-Cola to own up to its politically incorrect mistake – which it did quite well. But the reason the brand manager (or PR) cited for the inappropriate wording was a language mix up (‘retard’ meaning ‘delayed’ or ‘late’ in French), which relates a wider promotion the brand was running.

The fact that more people may have or will continue to open up the phrase before the manufacturing process is discontinued is shocking – and the fact that Coca-Cola has undone its apology to the family, by not noticing the mistake long before it went public, is dumb.

There’s some small-scale crisis management to be done now, in my opinion, because consumers won’t remember the story being a water bottle lid ‘lost in translation’, it’ll become ‘Coca-Cola calls cerebral palsy teenager a retard’. But for some reason the drinks company has put this issue to the bottom of its ‘to do’ list as it looks to push ahead with its international obesity campaign.

Of course a stunt like this won’t damage a brand like that, but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t show empathy. I’d have liked to have seen Coca-Cola show some personality by making the Loates family feel like a valued customer and sending some freebies. Essentially, the company needs the family to publicly say the right things to override the negative comments so everyone can see that the situation was dealt with.

This time, Coca-Cola might not have lost its bottle with the complaint, but it’s certainly lost its fizz.

Would this bad PR put you off your favourite soft drink?

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