“One of the greatest marketing blunders in Australian history?”
A bit excessive for a Facebook comment from a marketing student’s point of view, but a complete ‘cock-up’ nonetheless…
Over the last 7 days, well-known South Australian brewery, Coopers, has disgruntled it’s consumers so much to the extent that it is being labelled as “disgustingly unAustralian”, encouraging a nation-wide boycott – all because of the power in digital marketing.
A social media driven video distributed by The Bible Society places the Coopers product in the middle of a same-sex marriage debate between two opposing members of the Australian parliament, in the hopes that the “keeping it light” campaign will translate to exposure for a new commemorative Coopers packaging.
Some of the public believe that well-known brands should not and can not comment use the publicity of their brand to comment on political issues, however, I believe that a company is entitled to express their views on important issues that affect their consumers. When is it ok for companies to speak publicly about political issues?
In saying this, where Coopers have got it extremely wrong is in a few areas…
First of all, they attempt to “keep it light”- meaning they endeavour to make one of the most contentious topics in Australia today, a light-hearted conversation. Such an important issue needs to be treated with more respect, as it is an issue that so many people, and I am sure so many of Coopers consumers feel extremely passionate about.
When producing such content for social media platforms, they also have to expect people are freely commenting on the issue and expressing their own points of view.
They have chosen a debate where 3 in every 4 Australians have publicly accepted that reform in same-sex marriage is inevitable for this country. On such an important and passionate issue, such a discrepancy in supporters of each side will inevitably cause a backlash.
Where Coopers have particularly gone wrong is the way they have attempted to backpedal on this issue. At first, they distanced themselves from the publisher, and now they have pulled their commemorative can and published their own apology video that rivals Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s botched attempt at an apology.
This example of digital marketing has taught be that the internet is unforgivable, where there is no hiding if mistakes this monumental are made by these large companies.
I spoke about this topic in this week’s MKF3881 ‘Spotlight’ where we touched on other companies such as Trump Hotels, where digital output has received an ultimately detrimental response… can anyone think of any more? Comment below!
If you are interested in reading more about the Coopers fiasco, I have attached some links from the web below.
Thanks for reading and see you next week.