Why 9/11 ‘real time’ marketing is a real pile of shit

As I rolled over this morning and checked my Facebook like most 20 something’s do I scrolled through at least three 9/11 posts from a page, brand or company and they all had 50+ likes. It was 7:00 AM. The posts weren’t from firefighters, hospitals or non-profits supporting the victims.

This shouldn’t be a blog post, this topic shouldn’t even be something I feel so strongly about but as a content manager, editor, social media manager, digital marketer or whatever your title is, you decide what is tweeted, posted or Instagrammed and many of you are being complete asshats. Sorry for the naughty word but you truly are being inconsiderate, disrespectful and to me, nothing could be worse as a social contributor for multiple pages.

Today is the 12th anniversary of a horrible, tragic USA terrorist attack that claimed thousands of lives and changed the world forever. No one, again excuse my French, gives a shit that your company is supposedly thinking of the families or that AT&T will #NeverForget. I am not even going to dignify the lack of human emotion from some brands and their stupid marketing teams with links to their embarrassment today.

Today is for remembering and honoring and being grateful for the ones we love on a personal level. Personal being the key word there. This has nothing to do with what brand of toilet paper I buy or the sports team I cheer for. If any brand I followed today posted one of these insensitive messages of remembrance you can bet they are getting unfollowed. This is the straw on the camel’s back.

This isn’t ‘real time’ marketing. This isn’t paying respects. This also isn’t okay when an unexpected tragedy happens, the Colorado movie theater shooting or the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. As a brand don’t publish that you are sorry for the tragedy. Don’t say you are thinking of the families, those are obvious statements. Everyone in America is feeling those things. Tweeting them is not going to gain you any sort of customers. Don’t add a hashtag to your thoughtful post and use it as an excuse to ‘connect with your costumers’ on a personal level. No matter what brand you are! For a company and the few people who are responsible for that brand’s image, posting today is screwing over the entire nation by shoving their stupid ad in our face. What else should I expect? Don’t get me wrong, I am not an advertising hater. I like the ‘main steam media’ more than most. I loved Oreo (But can we shut up about how awesome Oreo is? We need another great brand to step up!) and the Superbowl message but I don’t love every single company trying to make a royal baby reference or a touching post today.

The only reason someone in our position would feel so inclined to post today would be to get easy engagement which would be the worst reason to hit the ‘post’ button. Yet we still have businesses posting and apologizing, we didn’t MEAN to offend anyone but we knew we probably would. Oops now you are talking about us and our name is being thrown around all over! Oh and look how many retweets and shares we got even if they are bashing us! Even companies who find a way to comment on today without offending anyone are still taking advantage of Americans with their likes and shares. You aren’t doing your jobs here marketing team, you aren’t using our emotions. You ARE taking advantage of the public and you are being the least creative possible. You should be ashamed of yourself.

You are not going to win awards with a 9/11 tweet. You are not going to get a promotion from a 9/11 Facebook post. You are not going to increase engagement with a 9/11 blog post and you are not going to gain any valuable customers (which is your job) over your 9/11 Instagram of a flag. Next time social media managers have a holiday, a real time event worth marketing or anything else you feel the need to comment on based on the fact that it effects a lot of people ask if any gives a f*** what your company says about it. Then stick to your companies strategy and do your job creatively.

I understand this is a harsh view and one I feel strongly about as a content manager but I also took the extremist side of the argument. Feel free to comment and tell me your thoughts.

One thought on “Why 9/11 ‘real time’ marketing is a real pile of shit

  1. Joe Cross says:

    The risk being that your company doesn’t say anything about 9/11 and comes off as heartless. There are people who will notice that fact, too. There’s got to be a tasteful way to get the message across without giving the impression it’s a sly attempt at gaining favor by “being there”. I don’t know how you do that without crossing the line, but a lot of companies haven’t done it very well today.

    Probably the best job I know of in doing it well was the Budweiser commercial in 2011. The company name was only shown at the end, and it only aired once:

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