When marketing context goes wrong ?

One of the problems faced with marketing using the digital text of current Mass Media, is how to effectively place your advertisement. Some marketers try and cheat by placing  advertisement into Social Media comments & links. The dueling Komodo dragons  connection to lady’s clothing seems  surreal and possibly inventive; unfortunately, the context was created by a sneak-placement on the National Geographic Twitter page.

The actual Twitter post was , Photo of the Day – Dueling Komodo dragons, January 30 .

The third comment was from a clothing advertisement for women. There was no attempt to create context with some comment on the photograph.

 

The consequence is that the viewer must create their own interpretation and association. They may ignore the advertisement or snark about it and perhaps create a ironic context.  There is a risk for the marketer that a comment could go viral and undermine the marketer & the product. Obviously, the marketer hopes that enough viewer will be curious enough to check out the Twitter page. The long shot that a viral reaction to the ad placement, even a negative one, could also potentially bring in a few customers. 

So did this marketing context go wrong or not ? On a superficial level, it may have  created a ridiculous surreal association in the minds of some viewers. If this association is something the viewer conscious of, then chances are that this will, at best, put the product line in a comical context. If the association is more glancing and barely acknowledged, then there is now way of knowing dueling Komodo dragons will encourage to purchase  a lady’s jumpsuit.

 

 

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Is Pizza are All Right ? – American brands negotiating fractured culture

Tiki Brand got an unwelcome association with the white nationalist movement in August when neo-Nazis and their allies carried Tiki torches in a nigh-time march in Charlottesville . In response they posted a public statement disavowing any connection the extremist views of the far right .

TIKI Brand is not associated in any way with the events that took place in Charlottesville and are deeply saddened and disappointed. We do not support their message or the use of our products in this way. Our products are designed to enhance backyard gatherings and to help family and friends connect with each other at home in their yard.

 

A new problem has emerged in marketing in the polarizing political environment in the United States of America – various far right groups are seeking cultural normalization by associating themselves with a variety of American products & brands. Tiki Brand garnered unwelcome association with neo-Nazi activity, while Papa John’s pizza chain  when its chief executive’s Nov. 1 call with investors, in which he blamed disappointing pizza sales on football players’ protests against racism and police brutality (Source).

 As the marketplace becomes the latest battleground in the culture wars, brand strategists are advising companies accustomed to staying out of the political fray to proactively weigh in with bold statements about race — as Nike and Ben & Jerry’s have done — to thwart attempts by hate groups to adopt brands as their own.

 

More brands are also building up their crisis management teams in preparation for the next racial flare-up, said Tiffany R. Warren, senior vice president and chief diversity officer at Omnicom Group, a global marketing and corporate communications holding company. (Washington Post Nov 16 – )

 

 

Keeping in mind the basic Mass Media Principles of Business Interests, Target Audiences, and embedded Values, Ideologies & Beliefs, it is easy to see that in the shifting demographics and polarizing cultural changes of American society, maintaining a viable brand becomes more and more difficult. Social action and public expression of a set of wide inclusive  values & beliefs will become a necessity to prevent a brand & company from being isolated from the larger population and their buying strength .