Friday, July 20, 2012

Shut up, Dunkin’ Donuts. Didn’t you hear about last night’s shooting?

It’s Friday – hooray, another work week is (almost) behind us!

Dunkin’ Donuts, with its 6.7M+ member Facebook following, wishes to take part in the excitement universal to 9-to-5ers everywhere. They craft this cute (maybe corny) mobile upload:

What’s their intent?

To trigger a fleeting smile with the slim portion of followers that, as part of their morning routine with social media, happen to scroll passed the image.

Barely even a soft-sell, the picture is a hardly salient marketing tactic designed to simply reinforce brand appreciation among followers.

What do they get?

Should a global coffee chain be expected to lead the charge of mourning over an isolated incident?

Absolutely not.

Why do certain people idiots feel compelled to attack brands when they carry on with business as usual?

Perhaps it’s because as a marketing channel, social media affords brands unprecedented flexibility. Unlike traditional print/TV ads that are planned, shot and submitted days/weeks in advance, social media messages can be altered up to a moment’s notice.

And we get it – as you scroll through a newsfeed comprised primarily of friends and family’s expressions of shock/reposts of the news article – a smile devised from boxes of DD merchandise may feel a bit callous and out of place.

But don’t tell me you subscribed to a global franchise that earns its keep slinging donuts so you could hear their take current events.

The only groups that should “care” and subsequently adjust their social media campaigns are:
  • Colorado-based businesses (because it’s “home”) 
  • Anti-Violence / relevant cause-based organizations (because it reinforces their missions) 
  • The Dark Knight Rises franchise and its public-facing financiers (because the incident directly involved their brand)
People need to stop levying the expectation of raw human emotion onto a brand.

Target experienced similar upheaval (although it seems here others share my frustration and realistic approach to the matter).

A retailer’s mission within the confines of social media is to solely promote/communicate news around the brand. They cannot be expected to suspend promotional efforts every time something bad happens in this world.

To my opposition, I ask: do you intend to spend the entire day in a somber state of mourning? Will you not crack a smile the whole weekend through?

Why would you levy a similar expectation upon your favorite coffee chain?

Conversely, wouldn’t you rather have them there to lift your spirit and take your mind off things?

::blogger steps down from his soapbox::

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