What Makes People Buy: Apologies
Apologizing is the new in-thing. If you want to move some product, get ready to apologize.
And not any ol’ apology will do. It has to come from a high-ranking officer in the company; usually the CEO. So, let’s set out to move your product right now. What are you selling? Nevermind, it doesn’t matter.
Here’s what we’re going to do.
- We are going to exploit whatever current trend is making waves in the world.
- We will piggyback our campaign on that event
- We will piss off a bunch of people, which will create a controversy an then
- We’ll apologize thereby generating even more press .
BA-GOOSH!!! We got ourselves a campaign.
Who’s doing it? All the cool cats, of course.
- Kenneth Cole piggybacked on a Twitter conversation about the riots in Cairo. Great discussion on this PR fiasco over on Danny Brown’s blog.
- Groupon used the tragic circumstances in Tibet during their Superbowl commercial to sell us some fucking coupons. This blog post from my friend Gini over at Spin Sucks inspired the article you’re reading right now.
- My buddy Robert Dempsey reminded me of this old trick. Sleazy Internet Marketing types will “apologize” for messing up an email so they can send you yet another email. I guess they are trying not to appear as spam.
The cool thing (and by cool, I mean the really shitty thing about this) is that PR agencies can sell this move because the corporation that buys into it will see significant increase in chatter on the news wire (always a good thing) and may even see increase in their stock price as a result.
- Kenneth Cole saw 2.5% stock price increase in the wake of #Cairo PR fiasco.
- Not sure if Groupon saw similar numbers but you, stock watching types, can easily check this and keep me honest.
Also, by selling the controversy to the corporations, PR agencies -as well as Corps- can brace themselves for the backlash. And as we all know, backlash is a great way to “show your true colors” by “doing the right thing.” Except, the “colors” and the “right thing” is pre-planned and faked all the way though.
I’m NOT going to blame PR agencies and Corporations for doing this. I’m going to blame you and I for not only buying into it but allowing these types of shady, unethical practices to continue.
Shame on us.