In these rather turbulent times, brands and companies have become immensely vulnerable to the personal interpretations and impressions of the audience on the internet. One of India’s most trusted brands, ‘Tanishq’ was forced to withdraw two consecutive ads due to hatred on social media which also led their share price to plummet on the stock market. ‘Zomato’ was criticized for advertising on a certain channel, while ‘Bingo Mad Angles’ has recently received a severe backlash for what was perceived to be disrespectful mockery of a deceased actor. With increasing scrutiny and dwindling tolerance online, despite the best intentions and care brands can find themselves in the middle of a firestorm. Brands have the choice to either buckle under pressure or stand up for themselves.
Owning up to an honest mistake is a good strategy for all brands. But, in case the marketing message has been targeted wrongfully or unreasonably, brands would benefit a lot from taking a stand and demonstrating grace under pressure. A clearly thought containment plan and response strategy would help them deflect the negativity and reinforce the brand image in the eyes of the consumer.
Authored Article by Sunidhi Garg, Co-founder & Director of Reverse Thought Creative Studios