We’ve barely seen any tacky 9/11 promotions over the years but this year… [head shake] there’s something about this year’s anniversary of the attacks that has companies and businesses climbing all over themselves to prove they, too, can push out a tone deaf promo in the name of patriotism and respect. We’ve seen a golf course do it, AT&T did it, and now we’ve got enough additional examples today that we have to do a round-up of the awful things.
As one commenter on Instagram so eloquently puts it: “Come ON! It’s like brands are competing who can get the worst coverage of their poor 9/11 campaigns.”
Here’s an idea: Perhaps all marketers should just take Sept. 11 off in the future if it’s going to prove to be so tempting. Just don’t do it. We’ll probably and unfortunately be adding more examples to the bottom of this post as they come in, so, sigh, again.
First up, as seen above (click to enlarge): Pretzel crisps uses an Instagram image of a flag made of — you guessed it! — bags of its Pretzel Crisps to remember lives lost today. A small amount of kudos to the company for leaving the evidence live on its account, and subsequently apologizing in the comments:
“We truly did not mean to use this day as a way to put the brand at the forefront. We aimed to show our support to the heroes who fight and those who have lost their lives fighting for our freedom. We apologize but this is not meant to offend.”
Over on Reddit commenters are ripping into a Marriott sign offering free coffee and mini muffins (not even full-size ones?) to honor victims of 9/11 — for an entire half an hour. Goodness gracious.
And then there’s the Starkville Daily News‘ foray into tackiness as seen over at Jim Romenesko’s site, offering up newspaper subscriptions for $9.11 per month “today only.” No other mention of 9/11 besides the fact that it happens to be the “today” part of “today only”:
We’d like to think the tackiness will stop here, but if we’ve learned anything from this year’s experience thus far, it’s that marketers can’t stop sticking their feet into their collective mouths.