Being prepared for the unexpected is an asset within every marketing team, but being prepared to have your brand (or your client’s brand) used to express a political position is not something you would expect.
Last week however, that is precisely the challenge presented to Wrigley’s America when Donald Trump Jr. chose to use Skittles to visually demonstrate an analogy about the Syrian refugee crisis.
The tweet and its associated image (which has since been removed) stated bluntly: “If I offered you a bowl of Skittles and told you three were poisoned, would you take a handful?”, garnered nearly 30’000 mentions by that evening. The majority of responses, however, were (thankfully) disgusted by the comparison and poked fun at Trump’s campaign.
In contrast, Denise Young‘s response as Wrigley America’s VP of Corporate Affairs showed the company took the matter seriously, issuing the following statement.
“Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy. We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”
– Denise Young, VP of Corporate Affairs, Wrigley’s America.
Not only was this thoughtful statement quickly shared by Wrigley’s team, but its humble avoidance of getting caught up in any kind of political drama is a credit to how occasions like these should be handled, and likely increased the public’s trust and respect of the brand.
Props to you Wrigleys. Excuse me whilst I go buy some Skittles.
To reflect the fact that ‘The Donald’ still hasn’t quite learnt his lesson regarding including brand references in his comments, we’ve been graced with this gem from TicTacUSA.
For all those who haven’t seen the latest video release showing Trump claiming in 2005 that he’s “got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case [I] start kissing her,” (referencing Days of Our Lives actress, Arienne Zucker), continuing to say, “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet.”