Prior to launching into a partnership or sponsorship, it’s wise to ask yourself, “What could go wrong?”
Apparently BMW failed to ask that.
If it had asked what could go wrong with buying the naming rights for a weather system, an obvious answer would have been: Well, if the weather system is especially severe, people could die and our brand name would be inadvertently linked with any accompanying stories.
It just so happens that Germany’s meteorology institute allows brands to sponsor weather systems. BMW did this, and now the storm “Cooper” (as in Mini Cooper, which BMW manufactures) is being blamed for 100 deaths in Poland and Ukraine.
From the BBC
On its website, advertising agency Sassenbach says that naming the front after the open-air vehicle was a ‘wind- and weather-proof idea.’
BMW has apologized, but chances are brands may start shying away from the meteorological institute’s “Adopt a Vortex” program.