It’s a fine line that companies walk when it comes to memorializing a national tragedy. On this day, for example, are they really sincerely honoring the victims of 9/11 with their messaging? Or are they simply using the anniversary to push the brand?
Sean Bonner, who observes social communication, say it’s simple. It’s all phony. Brands aren’t people. They don’t have emotions.
“People have those things, and when a brand tries to jump into that conversation, it’s marketing. And in a less emotionally charged environment it’s just dumb. But when talking about a tragedy that resulted in way too many people actually dying, it’s icky x 1000,” he tells AdWeek.
“It isn’t the time for branding or getting people to pay attention to companies. It’s a time for people to interact with each other, and the only respectful thing for brands to do is stay out of it and wait for tomorrow to get back to business,” he said.
But, of course, they can’t. That’s why Mike Monteiro is following them all over Twitter today and pointing out their crass opportunism.
— Weber Grills (@WeberGrills) September 11, 2014
For every victim. For every hero. For every person who was lost but never forgotten. Beretta Nation is United. pic.twitter.com/Z1F4kLjAMj
— BERETTA (@Beretta_USA) September 11, 2014
Today we honor the memory of those who lost their lives on September 11. pic.twitter.com/OW2FZt8O8l
— Dunkin' Donuts (@DunkinDonuts) September 11, 2014
Rembering those who lost their lives on September 11, 2011. 40% OFF END OF SUMMER CLEARANCE… http://t.co/aAF3ENwtBr
— Intimacy Box (@intimacybox) September 11, 2014