Ailment: Just last week Pepsi released an ad that attempted to cash in on the social cache of activism and position Pepsi as THE drink for woke young people, despite no history of involvement in activism. The video shows reality TV star Kendall Jenner taking part in a protest – exactly what for is unclear, although signage celebrates love and peace – and eventually handing a police officer a Pepsi, to much fanfare. The video invited viewers to “join the conversation” and they sure did – the Internet united for a brief moment in collective disdain for the tactless and tone-deaf ad.
Remedy: Be very careful about co-opting grassroots movements for branding purposes; consumers, particularly young people, have a strong radar for inauthenticity. Generally, these movements are working against societal structures that capitalism and the corporate world reinforce, and won’t appreciate hollow references and trivialisations of their ideals. If you’re going to represent a group of people (in this instance, protestors) you must get their input on how to do so.
Do you want political commentary with that Big Mac?
Fast Food giant McDonald's recently diverged from their usual soft serve and holiday focused content to berate Donald Trump with the tweet “@realDonaldTrump You are actually a disgusting excuse of a president and we would love to have @BarackObama back, also you have tiny hands.” The tweet was retweeted over 1000 times in its short 20 minute life. McDonald's then apologised and announced that the account had been hacked by an external source, addressing speculation that Hamburglar was to blame.
Luckily, if you’re at the helm of a small or medium sized business you’re already less likely than a multinational conglomerate to be hacked. Regardless, it’s worth looking into Twitter’s two-factor authentication security feature.
You may be more at risk of internal misconduct, so be aware of who has what information and login details at all times. This is particularly important when you’re making personnel changes, because hell hath no fury like a scorned worker on social media!
Grad job with a side of paleo snack?
The Department of Finance’s recent promo video attempts to lure young, hip grad students with the promise of paleo pear and banana bread came off a little stale.
Before releasing any comms it’s ESSENTIAL you test it with your target demographic, as well as outsiders who are removed from the project.
However the Department did a good “clean up” with their tongue in cheek
“we made you look!” tweet.
President Donald Trump’s Twitter activity needs no introduction. But, did you know he’s been mismanaging his Twitter feed since 2014, when he was duped into posting a photo of two of his biggest fans – British serial killers Fred and Rose West.
Fact check, fact check, fact check – especially important with all that #fakenews going around. Posting on your social media is the easiest way to communicate with your publics en masse. This is both a blessing and an opportunity to be judged harshly and screen shotted, so tread carefully.
Also @therealdonaldtrump, it’s best not to tweet at 3am unless it is an emergency.
Please tell us again why you hate #yourtaxis?
The Victorian Taxi Association unwittingly gave Victorians even more reasons than they already have to choose Uber when they invited users to share their taxi experiences with the hashtag #yourtaxis. Stories of racism, homophobia, sexual harassment and incompetence ensued.
Be very careful before you launch a campaign inviting the general public to comment on your services. At best, you could be you’re inviting a piss take; at worst, you’re advertising your harshest complaints.
If the damage is done, acknowledge the criticisms and use the situation as an opportunity to address failings.