By: Audrey Marlatt // audtography.com
Crisis (NOT) Averted!
You can tell a lot about a brand with how they cope during a crisis. Crisis is defined as a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger. For years, brands have had to rise to the challenge of figuring out how to navigate crises. The era of social media has made it increasingly harder for brands to endure a crisis because it can be broadcast loud and be continually shared. Social media storms are happening more often than not, here is an analysis of one of the biggest alcoholic beverage brands who had to try and cope with an immediate social media campaign crises.
Bud Light Campaign
Mean what you say, say what you mean, right? Not the case for the 2015 ‘Removing “No” From Your Vocabulary’ Bud Light campaign.
In 2015, Bud Light started a #UpForWhatever campaign that was supposed to be about people coming together for a good time. But, with not only the hashtag, the line printed on the label ‘The perfect beer for removing “No” from your vocabulary’, started a wave of negative backlash.
Bud Light obviously did not see any issues with this content until twitter comments began pouring in. If you haven’t caught what is wrong with this campaign just think alcohol and rape culture—spark a lightbulb? A Reddit thread that had brought attention to the beer’s line sparked the conversation which then spread like wildfire.
As much as Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch, wanted to have this as a sociable campaign, it came off as degrading and had many people saying how “rapey” this campaign was. Many moments in social media history have shown that marketing teams can sometimes miss slight details that become pitfalls for a company’s reputation. Anheuser-Busch quickly tweeted out a short apology with a link to the longer apology statement.
In the end, even with an apology having been sent out, that crisis will forever taint Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Light beer brand. To bring it back around, how a brand copes with a crisis is a telling sign of whether or not they can continue on in the market.
What can we learn?
Consumers are on twitter and other media channels nonstop throughout the day. With that amount of time spent, brands find that walking on needles is more relevant than ever. Users flock to social media to look for up to date content, news, and many other things. When crises occur on the different media channels they are more likely to be picked up by consumers.
With this, it is important for brands to set expectations and clear guidelines for potential crises to occur so correct actions can be taken. In the end, as much as you would think that it would be easy to identify a social media crisis before it is launched, it still happens.
LinkedIn: Audrey Marlatt