One of your brand’s most well-known customers, who happens to be Hollywood A-List, is suddenly trending on both Twitter and Google. As an agile marketer with your finger on the pulse of the cultural zeitgeist, you spot a golden opportunity to authentically join a huge conversation with something timely, original and relevant.
That’s exactly what happened to luxury car manufacturer Lexus when Ben Affleck was announced as the new Batman at the back end of last week. Affleck was taking a bat-tering (sorry) as having neither the acting skill nor the presence to follow Christian Bale in the role. It’s the sort of opportunity that those of us working in real-time marketing dream of! Lexus produced this (which has since been deleted from the @Lexus Twitter profile):
And it backfired spectacularly when it was soon pointed out within the media that Affleck not only drives a Lexus, but is often snapped in it. Oops.
What a wasted opportunity. What a PR disaster.
This was a chance to go against the grain and to make a stand for a famous customer and brand advocate. It was a chance to create a stir. Linking Affleck and Lexus via the Batmobile perhaps? Not rocket science, that. But not only was it not very original, but it was certainly not very clever when linking with a hashtag like #BetterBatmanThanBenAffleck.
Real-time marketing and advocacy together can be massively powerful. But not when done like this.
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