Tag Archives: United States

Coca-Cola: Call me anything, just not ‘gay’

29 Jan

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Coca-Cola or Coca-Cock up? It’s hard to tell when this global brand keeps making marketing mistakes.

After asking fans to share a personalised coke, Coca-Cola’s sub brand – Vitamin Water – fell foul of calling one unlucky US customer a ‘retard’. And now, according to BBC Trending, the South African coke microsite has banned people from calling their can of coke ‘Gay’.

‘Computer error’ I hear you ask? Well, technical glitches don’t tend to read:

Oops. Let’s pretend you didn’t just type that. Please try another name.

The brand has since apologised and resolved the issue by clarifying which names can be used on its social media led channel by listing them on the site. But, if Coca-Cola thinks it can move on swiftly it’s highly mistaken.

With the 2014 Winter Games around the corner – featuring Jamaica (probably the most exciting thing about the event) – rightly or wrongly this has definitely become a gay rights issue.

Although the Games wouldn’t happen without its sponsors, it’s down to all marketeers, regardless of what country they’re based in, to communicate with one another to ensure they have an integrated approach. Remember that word? In this industry it doesn’t just look pretty on paper, it means something.

Sure, some might agree that Sochi shouldn’t be punished for South Africa’s mistakes but the truth is a quick phone call could have ensured the brand isn’t tarnished in every time zone. With Russia attracting attention for the wrong reasons since it passed legislation banning propaganda of ‘non traditional sexual relations among minors’, it’s important that businesses know which side of the fence they’re sitting on. Otherwise you’ll have international media, bloggers and entire communities hating on you, including Gay activist John Aravosis.

It’s time for marketeers to take responsibility for their actions because, with this company in particular, ‘sorry’ is wearing thin. If you’re going to put consumers in charge, then you have to be prepared for the consequences.

If in doubt, leave it out! What do you think?

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Obama wins election with careful spending

7 Nov

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He’s done it again – Obama is back in the White House to complete a further, and final, four years. But, how exactly do you become President of the Unite States? Spend up to <a href="http://$2bn – largely on advertising in swing states like Ohio and Virginia to grab voters’ attention. That’s how.

It wasn’t just Obama that ran up a large bill. Republican Romney spent even more. According to the Washington Post he spent $76m more than Obama at $472m – virtually all of which was used to create negative adverts that slammed his opponent.

But where was the bulk of this cash channelled? Florida – 2012’s modern day battleground for US political candidates.

Obama may have had a tighter financial budget to contend with. But, with approximately 314m people in the US, he still drummed up enough support for every US citizen to pledge $1.25 to his cause. A great result.

How does this campaign cash compare with Presidential election fundraisers before him?

Former Presidents’ fundraising efforts

1992 Bill Clinton -$331.1m (approx. 98c per American)

1996 Bill Clinton – $425.7m (approx. $1.35 per American)

2000 George Bush – $528.9 (approx. $1.68 per American)

2004 George Bush – $880.5 (approx $2.79 per American)

Calculation based on population count from US Census Bureau on 7 November and does not account for fluctuation of inflation

This shows that more or less there’s been a decline in giving over recent elections. Yet, with the country suffering from $16 trillion worth if debts (via BBC Newsnight) it’s no surprise people are keeping their wallets closed.

Debt or no debt. The world woke up today to find the right candidate winning the election – and that’s priceless.

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