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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.

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Dancing on ice for Children in Need

13 Nov

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All brands get to a stage where they have to stop and think of others by running, what we call in the industry, a ‘charidee’ campaign.

One of my favourites this week is the Tower of London’s link up with Children in Need. To celebrate the BBC’s corporate charity – that helps more than 2,600 projects in the UK to provide support to millions of young people – it’s donating up to £7.50 per person from three skating sessions. My guesstimate is that it’ll raise well over £1,500. And, it’s a partnership that’s obviously beneficial to both parties because it’s the second year in a row that they’ve done this.

It’s topped my list for three reasons:

a) – This is pounds, not pence, being donated which makes a difference to charity and the media
b) – The Tower of London Ice Rink gets to launch its skating season with a bang with some TV coverage that’ll deliver a strong ROI
c) – Someone’s going to have to dress in a Pudsey costume and skate at the same time so the chances of that person falling over, making for s classic live TV moment, is high

Celebrities are also backing the charity’s 34th appeal – which is set to raise the bar by topping last year’s £26m fundraising total – in various ways. From Ellie Goulding’s charity single, which’ll donate 20p from each downloaded track, to Sir Paul McCartney designing his own Pudsey Bear, the campaign’s approach is evolving all the time.

What are your top charity campaigns?

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