Avoiding the Digital Abyss

There are so many ways that a company can have an “Oops” moment online. A disgruntled employee with the login credentials to the social media account changes the password to the accounts and starts posting rogue messages on their way out the door. The clean up from something like that could be difficult to recover from.

Of course, you can also be blindsided by something that goes wrong in the analog world, which can crossover into the digital space.

During the 2015 holiday season, Reese’s found themselves in such a predicament.

Their peanut butter cup “Tree” went viral for the wrong reasons…

Reese’s was looking into the abyss. Their initial responses on social media were canned replies directing upset customers to give feedback on their website. Article headlines were not flattering. Reese’s had to do something – and fast – to diffuse the situation.

Their answer? Simple and genius. #AllTreesAreBeautiful

Well played, Reese’s. Well played.

What are the lessons to be learned from this? Social media gives and it can take away. The crowdculture will eventually find out about any (big) mistake and once they latch on, they won’t let go…unless you can change the narrative with the type of savvy that Reese’s MKTG team deployed. That goes for mistakes in the real world; not just digital.

Not only was this campaign a great hashtag that they could deploy to counter the negative press that went viral, but they could also go after those that were “tree shaming” the Reese’s product.

The campaign has brought Reese’s all the way back – so much so that they continue to produce the same exact “trees” to this day…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *