Brands that try to leverage 9.11 generally do more damage than good. CBS58′s Bill Walsh did a nice exploration of the convergence of culture, commerce and national identity and I added commentary.
Did AT&T really think using 9.11 and rays of light where the twin towers once stood in their “never forget” tweet was patriotic? Consumers can see though this charade. They know full well AT&T is trying to sell them a new phone. Worse, consumers are insulted and the brand is tarnished – and when it’s a big brand consumers will “never forget.”
Did the LA Lakers honestly believe Kobe Bryant had anything to do with 9.11? And Kobe Bryant of all choices! What were they thinking? Whatever their thoughts, they were delusional. Kobe Bryant and 9.11 are a pairing I’d prefer to forget.
Go Alabama and remember Bear Bryant on Facebook on 9.11. What? OK maybe it is the day Bryant was born. But what his hat has to do with commemoration of 9.11 I do not know. I suspect there are other anniversaries that can be used to promote the Alabama brand. Ouch!
Some poor schlep at a California Marriott franchise decided to give free mini-muffins, “in remembrance of those we lost.” Oh my! But then, the corporate apology – if one can call it that – added salt the wound. “We sincerely apologize for the perceived insensitivity.” Perceived! Really, spare us the “apology.”
The topper – 9 holes of golf for $9.11. Shame on Tumble Down Trails and shame on The Wisconsin State Journal for taking the ad.
9.11 might best be remember without brands. And for brands who just have to make a statement – go dark. Silence is golden, in this case.