Posts Tagged social responsibility

Another social media boo boo…

Time and time again we see it, people and brands making foolish mistakes with significant repercussions within the world of social media. Nestle famously botched things up for themselves by demanding a fake Kit Kat commercial (produced by Greenpeace) slamming them for their use of Palm Oil, be removed from the web. The video which up until that point was far from a viral success, suddenly went around the globe faster than Greenpeace could have dreamt it to. All thanks to Nestle ruffling feather. The public barrage aimed at Nestles poor handling of the case and sudden attention on their use of Palm Oil did not do them any favours and is now a case study that I personally feel every client should take note of.

One would think that with such a large brand going through such a public PR battle via social channels, some lessons would be learnt.

Apparently not.

Fashion designer Kenneth Cole is the latest to thoughtlessly act via a social media platform and surprise surprise, is now watching his brand fall from grace. Kenneth made the very foolish choice to hijiack a hashtag in Twitter to promote his latest collection. Now hashtag hijacking is not rare, but it’s use can not be taken lightly. To do it requires very strategic thinking or it can backfire. Like in this case. See image below:

The Cairo hashtag was being used as a news source to share events from troubled Eygpt. The most insensitive thing about this, is that a significant amount of people are losing their lives due to the unrest. This is no time at all for a brand, representing something as irrelevant as fashion, to hijack a hashtag where concerned users are sharing serious content.

Bad move.

But I will give credit to Kenneth Cole for addressing his stupidity via an apology post. Despite it seeming to be heartfelt, he has opened himself up to an onslaught of criticism. See the comments here.

Surely it’s time that we, as brands (and even individuals – no need to remind us all of Stephanie Rice’s Twitter mishap where she lost her Jaguar sponsorship), learn that as we join online conversations we are involving ourselves in a very transparent and dynamic environment. We must think logically and strategically and above anything else, we must use some common sense.


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Making a worldwide difference

Recently a new green file format was unveiled – WWF. Simply put, it is a PDF that you can’t print out. By downloading the software, you can convert almost any file to a WWF.

A neat idea, given the huge amounts of paper still being consumed, despite recent efforts to curb paper overuse. Many organisations have adopted a ‘think before you print’ or ‘no email printing’ policies, but those policies don’t definitively stop email printing.

But the real kicker with this idea is the software is a lot more than a resource friendly tool. It’s actually a great example of a brand, creating a movement that could result in significant social change.

Here’s a little history. The WWF software was created by the German branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (aka the WWF). The group’s vision is “To halt and reverse the destruction of our environment”. Much of their work focuses on the conservation of the world’s biodiversity, particularly forests, so the creation of this software is extremely brand relevant.

To produce a tool that can be so easily downloaded is already a great achievement, and to name it after their brand, will provide excellent exposure. Imagine if just one in every 1000 Australians used it, let alone the world. It would have profound results in changing our paper consumption. Which in turn, would assist in reversing the destruction of our environment. An outcome 100% true to the WWF’s brand vision.

Well done WWF. No “Green Washing” here.

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