The Best And Worst Brand Decisions Of 2018
In an interesting coincidence the best and worst PR decisions made by a brand in 2018 both occurred on September 5th. At least that’s the assessment of Scott Galloway and his L2 think tank, as explained in the attached article.
Let’s start with Google. On September 5th Google, Facebook, and Twitter were called to Capitol Hill for a Senate hearing which was titled “Foreign Influence Operations and Their Use of Social Media Platforms”. Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey dutifully testified, but Google’s Larry Page was a conspicuous no show. The Senate even went so far as to leave an empty chair for Page to highlight the snub. Keep in mind this hearing’s goal wasn’t to attack the social publishers. Instead the Senate was looking for solutions to safeguard our electorate from foreign social meddling – a cause every American should be in favor of. By not showing up Google sent a signal that it didn’t care as much about the issue as it should. Can anyone say PR faux pas?
On the other side of the PR coin is Nike. As I covered in a blog post last week, Nike’s decision to feature Colin Kaepernick in its latest “Just Do It” campaign set off a publicity firestorm for the brand. But this was more like a controlled burn Nike organized, designed the play directly to its base consumer. So just how much up/downside is Nike facing with this campaign? If you isolate customer backlash to a portion of the 35+ consumers in the US only, which is a relatively small slice of Nike’s revenue pie, not too much. The graphic below lays out the percentages pretty well.
Interesting how both of these story lines broke on the same day.