Social Media Shitstorm & PR Disaster: Crocs & David Bowie, Cheerios & Prince and Cinnabon & Carrie Fisher: Social Media, Dead Celebrities and Brands simply Do Not Fit Together

By Sten Franke
In January 4, 2017

If social media managers and PR managers have learned from the past year 2016 and various Social Media Shitstorms & PR disasters, then it is a simple Merksatz: Never make the death of a celebrity particularly creative in the social web for your Brand campaign & engagement. This is quite certainly wrong and ensures a violent Social Media shitstorm and PR disaster. At least there are three examples from the past twelve months in which the brands were subjected to massive criticism after their postings, which were always understood as humorous or entertaining tributes to the deceased.

SOCIAL MEDIA SHITSTORM & PR DESASTER NO. 1

CARRIE FISHER & CINNABON

Shortly after acquaintance with the death of the Star Wars star went the following post online: „RIP Carrie Fisher, you`ll always have the best buns in the galaxy“.

After all, the Cinnabon-Social-Media-Team quickly realized that it was not such a good idea to post even the smallest wordplay on such a day and quickly deleted the tweet.

SOCIAL MEDIA SHITSTORM & PR DESASTER NO. 2

CROCS & DAVID BOWIE

Even more violent was the anger Crocs got for his shoe posting to the death of David Bowie. Without any connection, the plastic shoe producers posted the photo of one of their sandals and the flash logo the pop star had used in the 1970s.

SOCIAL MEDIA SHITSTORM & PR DESASTER NO. 3

CHEERIOS & PRINCE

What do chips have to do with the death of Prince? Right: Nothing! This posting is all the more incomprehensible. The result: much annoyance with the fans and a debate on whether it would not make sense to have at least one experienced PR Manager in the mostly Social Media teams occupied by Millennials. Because, every professional would have advised against and not bother the mourning fans with such branded content. Surely enough and empathic would be a Prince photo and a R.I.P. to express the sincere sympathy. The danger of such an action going backwards is just too much. In such postings and PR actions, the risks outweigh the opportunities by far.

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