As a beer snob, I can’t honestly say that I enjoy Bud Light, other than the fact that it’s cheap (sorry I’m not sorry) and even then, I still don’t enjoy it. Budweiser has seen a significant decline in sales lately (though numbers aren’t available for Bud Light), because Americans really like their craft beer now. In other words, Bud needs to watch its step. Now, I’m sure you remember their little Twitter faux pas that went on during this year’s St. Paddy’s day (yeah, I’m not flashing back very far for Flashback Friday, whatever). If you missed it, let me fill you in right quick.
Hi @budlight. Does being #UpForWhatever include up for arrest on sexual assault charges? pic.twitter.com/llLDBWFFtu
— Lauren Dobson-Hughes (@ldobsonhughes) March 17, 2015
And this was just one reaction of many. I get that they were trying to make this a fun tweet to celebrate the holiday, however, I think they could have been more tasteful with their campaign. It is so important to think of all sides before launching a major campaign such as this one. Think of every side, your audience, what point you’re trying to convey, and then, for the love of beer, test your humor on a pretty large audience before releasing to the world.
I’ve seen this major faux pas too many times to count. Congrats, Budweiser, for not being the first in a long line of social media disasters. Another example of this mishap (and a flashback from a bit further back) is from Kenneth Cole. This guy is a repeat offender, first jumping on the #Cairo hashtag with a tasteless tweet, and then again with #BootsOnTheGround.
“Boots on the ground” or not, let’s not forget about sandals, pumps and loafers. #Footwear
— Mr. Kenneth Cole (@mr_kennethcole) September 5, 2013
Instead of an actual apology, he said that tweeting something offensive is a good business strategy. I have to disagree with you, Kenneth. Starting a convo via an offensive tweet is not (I report, NOT) a good business strategy.
So what do we learn from these, you ask? Be aware, and keep yourself educated on recent events, who your audience is, all the ways a new campaign could be received by your audience, and go from there. If an answer to a question such as “could this offend someone?” comes back as a “yes,” I would stay as far away from that as possible. Good branding is good branding, and bad publicity is bad publicity, however much someone might try to convince you otherwise. So let’s keep your brand first, shall we?
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