On Monday, the Malaysian government announced that they are certain that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 crashed somewhere in the Indian Ocean, with no survivors. That’s an international tragedy and an important news story, and was the top story on the New York Times website. Unfortunately, Apple was running a large and beautiful iPad advertisement on the front page at the time. An ad that featured a diver using an iPad underwater.
The accidental synergy between the headline, “Malaysia Says Jet Went Down in Ocean,” and the iPad ad caught readers’ eyes, and a few grabbed screenshots before someone at the Times noticed and the ad disappeared.
Sure, intentional tragedy marketing is tacky, especially when it comes to tweets that include candle emojis.