I read recently that some marketing departments were “afraid” of social media and, in some cases, that fear could be completely justified either because of their complete misunderstanding of social media (SM) or (more importantly) the incompetence of the individuals left with the responsibility of chartering a brand through the sometimes choppy waters of SM.
There are plenty of examples where big brands have really messed up. A recent example of this was Kenneth Cole when he (personally) tried to use the riots in Egypt to try and promote his “new spring collection” via twitter using the hash-tag of #Cairo.
What was he thinking? He tried to save his neck by withdrawing the remark fairly promptly, but by that time it had been retweeted and broadcast on the news.
A quick search on Google will dredge up plenty of examples highlighting the perils of leaving a keyboard in front of people who have not fully engaged the brain before posting.
But turning to more recent tragic events and three of the most amazing blunders of late. Three established brands capitalised unashamedly in the death of Amy Whitehouse, those who stand accuesd are Microsoft, Esquire and the Huffington Post.
In Tragedy, a Style Appreciation for Blake Fielder-Civil
Remember Amy Winehouse by downloading the ground-breaking ‘Back to Black’ over at Zune
And finally, possibly the most offensive, The Huffingtonpost.com:
Amy Winehouse’s Untimely Death Is a Wake Up Call for Small Business Owners