Our regular readers will know how we bang on about the importance of delivering the Right Message to the Right Person at the Right Time. Well on the subject of messages, getting your message across and making sure it is the right message is one of the most important aspects of marketing your brand.
Every Little Helps?
I was reminded of this last week when Tesco faced a fierce backlash over its ‘All I want for Christmas is a puppy’ image. The picture appears in the Tesco Christmas guide and features a little girl running past a blackboard displaying the message.
Tesco faced a barrage of complaints from consumers and animal charities alike. Nearly 50 complaints were received by the Advertising Standards Authority because thousands of dogs are euthanised each year after their owners tire of looking after what was a ‘gift’ at Christmas.
Consumers and charities alike thought the image was irresponsible and The Dogs Trust (they of the ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ slogan) stated ‘We know pups are wonderful and totally understand why children might ask Santa for one. However, Dogs Trust and many other welfare charities rely on parents and other responsible adults and advertisers to explain why this isn’t a good idea and not to encourage this behaviour.’
Tesco’s Facebook page received a lot of complaints as did the marketing team.
Tesco reacted quickly by saying the image was part of a ‘lifestyle shoot’ and they would feedback to their marketing department. They apologised for any offence caused and are in discussions with the Dogs Trust to see how they can help promote the ‘A dog is for life’ campaign. The last thing they want is for any of their customers to start thinking; ‘Every Lidl Helps’
They’re not the only ones . . . .
Bearing in mind the major supermarkets have already been embroiled in the horse meat scandal of late, Asda recently fell foul of consumers and mental health charities for stocking a ‘Mental Patient’ Halloween costume consisting of a blood spattered straight jacket, fake blood and fake meat cleaver. They received enough complaints to remove the item from sale, stating it was a ‘completely unacceptable error’ and to make a donation to the charity Mind.
Amazon have also fallen foul of bas press of late with a bad taste Jimmy Savile zombie costume they had for sale. Bad taste is one thing, but is it any surprise that this has brought a barrage of complaints Amazon‘s way?
Putting it right
The alacrity of response by Tesco and Asda is as you would expect and there is no doubt that the supermarkets do not wish to offend anyone but they have had to move quickly on their respective damage limitation strategies (it remains to be seen what action, if any, Amazon takes).
Protecting and Promoting your Brand
It’s true that you can’t please all of the people all of the time and that if you do happen to get it wrong then there is a lot to be learned from the big businesses:
- If you’re doing something your customers and prospects don’t like, stop doing it.
- A swift and sincere apology often works wonders.
- Adding value or giving something for free can often right a wrong.
The way you react if things go wrong can actually result in strengthening your relationship with your customer.
If you need help with communicating to the right people then come and talk to Data Bubble about how we can help you effectively target your marketing message.