No brand ever wants to be amid a PR disaster but unfortunately, in some instances, it’s inevitable. A lesson in crisis comms could have come in handy for these PR blunders but thankfully we can learn from their mistakes.
WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM IT: Don’t chase short term profits at the detriment of your brand. Sure, the first roll out was a success from a monetary perspective, but over time the campaign is just diminishing brand sentiment and will inevitably lose customers. This second release feels as though customers’ concerns the first time around have simply fallen on deaf ears.
WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM IT: Domino’s didn’t react to the situation straight away and instead waited two days before responding. By then, it was too late. According to The New York Times, consumer perception of Domino’s brand turned negative within hours. The key takeaway here is that social media works in real time and the reach and speed of it can turn a prank into a PR nightmare in a matter of hours. When it comes to social media, respond right away to start mitigating the damage.
WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM IT: Whilst the public outrage was enough for H&M to remove the jumper from its website and pull the shirt from its stores worldwide, the damage had already been done. To H&M’s credit, they did apologise, but the aftermath saw the brand having to close its store in South Africa and lose its partnership with music artist The Weeknd. In this day and age brands need to be more diligent and show awareness for matters that count.
WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM IT: Dove removed the ad from Facebook and released a statement that said it ‘committed to representing the beauty of diversity’ but had ‘missed the mark’ with its ad. Twitter users weren’t sold on the apology, with many expressing frustration and confusion about the face that the ad was approved in the first place. For a brand so adamant that they represent body positivity and racial diversity, they need to get better at listening to how they can do so effectively.
WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM IT: It seems the ad execs were trying to project a global message of unity through its ad however customers simply found it insensitive and a little confusing. The ad sparked outrage and mockery online with the company initially defending itself before pulling the ad and apologising. The news here is that PR disasters can sometimes be resolved thanks to some fortunate timing. In a stroke of luck, a United Airlines controversy took centre stage and redirected some of the attention to them and Pepsi got of seemingly lightly.