Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Marketing Fail

9/11 dominates the United States and it has become a cultural norm for every individual, organization, and business to address the date with images and/or words in remembrance of the terror/pain we all experienced, those who lost their lives, those who participated in the ensuing 9/11 rescue operations, and/or those who fought in the subsequent war(s) on terrorism.

I find myself reflecting in private at this point, as all the noise on television and social media drowns out the meaning and the emotion for me now.  That is just how I'm rolling these days..  and it's not to say that someone on Facebook or Twitter is "doing it wrong" by handling the day with a post or a few words about where they were when it happened...

But then you stumble upon those rare gems of, well..  I don't' want to call it idiocy.  Let's call it misguided empathy expressed by a few businesses who don't necessarily want to capitalize on the tragedy, but don't exactly utilize their opportunity to appropriately express themselves.  Two interesting examples are outlined below.

Tweet I stole this example from (give credit where it's due):

AT&T's original post:

AT&T's response:
@ATT We apologize to anyone who felt our post was in poor taste. The image was solely meant to pay respect to those affected by the 9/11 tragedy.


Keith Olberman video, discussing Tumbledown Trails Golf Course in Wisconsin, offering $9.11 for 9 holes and $19.11 for 18 holes, offer good 09/11/13 only to "commemorate" the "12th anniversary" of 9/11.

Alternatively, here is an excellent article about it from ESPN, if you don't want to watch video..  or Keith Olberman:

I'd share their response from their Facebook page, but they've drawn so much criticism, that they've completely deleted their Facebook page since I viewed it a few hours ago.  It originally explained, in multiple posts, that they were sorry, they never intended to make a mockery of the tragedy or use a shameless promotion to make money, eventually offering to donate proceeds from the day's golf sales to a 9/11 memorial fund.

...   Needless to say, in today's world of social media and emotionally charged viral backlashes, it's best to keep a certain level of creativity in check.


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