Friday, June 4, 2010

Brands Are Dead

Via Balloon Juice I am introduced to the brilliant wit behind the @BPGlobalPR Twitter account (and if you have been living in a hole for the last few weeks and aren’t familiar with @BPGlobalPR, check his Twitter feed here).

Anyway, he’s become something of an internet phenomenon. Here he gives corporate America some advice:
So what is the point of all this?  The point is, FORGET YOUR BRAND.  You don’t own it because it is literally nothing.  You can spend all sorts of time and money trying to manufacture public opinion, but ultimately, that’s up to the public, now isn’t it?

You know the best way to get the public to respect your brand?  Have a respectable brand.  Offer a great, innovative product and make responsible, ethical business decisions.  Lead the pack!  Evolve!  Don’t send hundreds of temp workers to the gulf to put on a show for the President.  Hire those workers to actually work!  Don’t dump toxic dispersant into the ocean just so the surface looks better.  Collect the oil and get it out of the water!  Don’t tell your employees that they can’t wear respirators while they work because it makes for a bad picture.  Take a picture of those employees working safely to fix the problem.  Lastly, don’t keep the press and the people trying to help you away from the disaster, open it up so people can see it and help fix it.  This isn’t just your disaster, this is a human tragedy.  Allow us to mourn so that we can stop being angry.

Ay fucking men. This is exactly what I’ve been trying to articulate lately, notably here. I’m just so sick of the bullshit. I’m sick of the dog and pony show. Nobody buys it anymore--hell, we haven’t bought it for years. Why don’t you guys get that?

Hey Corporate America: instead of trying to “manage” your PR and orchestrate some goodwill with marketing gimmicks, greenwashing and astroturfing, how about not doing some of the crap you do? How about not implementing a phantom recall of your product? How about not hiring former regulators to help you dodge safety regulations? How about not designing your cell phone so that users can’t help but get charged $1.99 for having a fat finger malfunction? How about not taking millions in government grants while shuttering your U.S. factories and moving production to Mexico?

Seriously, save the marketing budget. Save the lobbying budget. Just quit being dicks.