5 New Year’s resolutions for brands

Place your right hand on the closest inspirational marketing book you can find, raise your left, and solemnly swear that in 2015, you will stick to the following resolutions.

I will not dogpile on a hashtag before spending at least 60 seconds figuring out what it’s about.
In September, after Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice was terminated from the NFL team after video surfaced of him punching his then-fiancee Janay Palmer, a movement with the hashtag #WhyIStayed took Twitter by storm, with women sharing their experiences with abusive relationships. DiGiornio, normally a paragon of perfect brand social behavior, messed up badly by not checking what the hashtag was actually about.

I will not pretend to know what “perfection” looks like.
You can’t expect better from Victoria’s Secret, but the lingerie company that idolizes only one type of body put its foot in its mouth this year where it launched a campaign featuring three gorgeous models and the words “The perfect ‘body.’” The ad was promoting the brand’s new “Body” line of lingerie, but that didn’t matter. A petition by customers called VS to change the copy.

Perfectbody

I will not reference Hitler, the Holocaust or the Nazis. Ever.
It wasn’t a good year for retailers like Walmart, Amazon, Sears or Zara, all of which were under fire for assorted crimes — including selling pajamas that looked like concentration-camp uniforms, an image from Dachau’s main gate as a home decor item, and more.

walmart-concentration-camp-poster

For that matter, I’ll just stay away from political/world events.
That includes Syria, ISIS, ebola, Ferguson and gun control. KentState

I will think twice about soliciting user-generated content.
McDonald’s got a lesson in this with its #McD stories campaign, but that didn’t stop the New York Police Department from beginning a grassroots social campaign inviting people to share pictures with a member of the department, with the hashtag #myNYPD. Some serious hashtag-abuse ensued.

 

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