The word Tsunami itself is so scary that people went berserk when a few days ago warning signals were given after tremors were felt. There were high chances that Indonesia could witness the mayhem of Tsunami once again. However, thank heavens! nothing happened but the world of social media saw a Tsunami on its networks which expected that the Tsunami memories of 2010 would visit again. 4 out of 10 keywords were related to Tsunami that were trending all day on Twitter and people either were showing great concern or were having fun. Brands, which wait for such opportunities to cash in on, tried their luck and one of them was KFC Thailand. KFC Thailand, which thought of acting smart and witty during this time, posted an update on Facebook: ((As reported by Economic Times))
[pullquote id=”lhipull” class=”center_pull”]Let’s hurry home and follow the earthquake news. And don’t forget to order your favorite KFC menu.[/pullquote]
I think if you are human, you won’t tweet this ever, forget being a social brand or a social media expert. What followed thereafter was people’s anger and just as the way it doesn’t take much effort for things to go viral, this one also went viral but at the cost of KFC’s brand image being ripped off. Thereafter, KFC did apologize for it’s irrational behavior but it was too late and the brand’s image was crucified.
But let’s think for a second and ask – why do brands do such things when behind the logo are people like us. It is not that these are rare mistakes but on the contrary brands keep on doing the same and get backfired but still don’t learn from their mistakes. I hope they are not assuming that public memory is really short-term and people will forget things. I don’t think people forget things on social media and one of the positive things of Internet is that every hate speech, every negative thing is archived.
So why are brands doing this time and again?
It’s not only the case with international brands, Indian brands are not behind too. Some time back the cricketing world was talking about Dravid’s retirement from cricket and what strength was he for the Indian team. Seeing this every brand on Facebook or Twitter was praising about the achievements of Dravid’s cricketing history and his contribution to the Indian cricket. But Bookadda, an online ecommerce stores for books and magazines thought of an innovative plan to cash in from the moment. It ran a Facebook ad campaign, which you can see in the attached screen shot. I think the ad has no problem; it has the right image with the perfect message to make people click on the ad. But hang on, where does the ad lead to? The ad leads to one of the Bookadda apps on Facebook, which described about the business of Bookadda. Now isn’t the brand fooling people and trying to make people like their page on the face value of Dravid’s retirement? I would have been happy if they had listed some books on Dravid or had some resemblance to the retirement. Alas! It was a shameless display of how to gain more likes by fooling people.
There are few more, which did the same – Bajaj Allianz tried the same when Sachin Tendulkar scored his 100th 100 and needless to say that the witty tweets by the brand backfired.
[pullquote id=”lhipull” class=”center_pull”]Congrats to Sachin for his long-awaited 100th ton. Now don’t delay your retirement planning. #RetireRich #JiyoBefikar (Link)[/pullquote]
Karthik, a Twitter influencer was quite vocal about the insane tweets and also blogged about the same. I can go on listing some more examples such as Sony increasing the prices of Whitney Houston albums as soon as she passed away, etc. The list is endless but I fail to understand why brands go so low that they do things at somebody else’s expense!
Social media is all about being human first and incidents like this prove that brands really don’t get what is social media. Or is it that brands who try such cheap tricks, are run by too many smart and self-proclaimed social media gurus? Time for us to see the ground reality that apologies after the incident won’t really help.
The attention span of people is still not so little that they will quickly forget and this is what brands should keep in mind.
Slider Image courtesy: comeatmebro.blogspot.com