The anniversary of the 9/11 attacks has become a national day of remembrance. As such, marketers must tread lightly. What could start as something meant to honor those who lost their lives on this national day of mourning could quickly become a PR nightmare.
We can’t blame Marriott corporate, but we can point the finger at whichever Marriott location decided free mini-muffins and coffee were an appropriate way to commemorate this day:
AT&T also caught the ire of several Twitter users when it tweeted a photo that has since been taken down. GeekWire
has the full story and the vitriol—oh, the vitriol—that followed the photo, which featured an AT&T phone displaying the skyline of Manhattan with lights beaming from where the Twin Towers stood.
The company came back with this apology:
Other brands used similar tacks and didn’t see the backlash AT&T provoked. There was American Express:
This sentiment shared by Macy’s was well-received:
On Facebook, Lowe’s Home Improvement was praised for its post as well:
Several more brands simply shared “thoughts and prayers” or encouraged their audience to “never forget.”
It’s interesting to see, however, that some brands—because of who they are—aren’t taken seriously when they tweet about remembering the victims. Huggies, for example, was lambasted by its followers for a tweet that resembled what other brands put out:
Perhaps people just don’t like to think of diapers and 9/11 at the same time.
Maybe Sherwin Williams had the best approach. It announced it would refrain from tweeting at all Wednesday:
found itself on the Twitter hot seat, not for a promotional push, but over a mistaken photo placement. Somehow, a picture of a man falling from the World Trade Center that was supposed to accompany an archive piece about that specific image ended up associated with an article on commuting: