I’m forever going over the importance of social media, and today I have yet another example of how not to use it.
Brewdog, the self-proclaimed ‘hardcore’ beer brand was picked up in the news today regarding their latest product: the Pink IPA. A product which, if you actually read about it has a pretty interesting concept behind. Taken from their website, Brewdog described Pink IPA as:
A beer for women. A beer for equality.
Satirically dubbed Beer for Girls, Pink IPA is BrewDog’s clarion call to close the gender pay gap in the UK and around the world and to expose sexist marketing to women, particularly within the beer industry. This is our overt parody on the failed, tone-deaf campaigns that some brands have attempted in order to attract women.
So to you and me, it’s basically irony.
Brewdog go on to explain all about why they have chosen to release this limited edition product.
It is the exact same beer as Punk IPA. But on the outside, it looks different. This is a reflection of the situation around the world relating to gender imbalance – Pink IPA is our effort to raise awareness of the current, unwelcome, status quo. At BrewDog we are committed to a workplace free from inequality of any sort.
The article actually goes on to give a whole load of shocking statistics and really hones in on the issues surrounding gender inequality (and how Brewdog plans to tackle it). The main feature of interest for me however, is how they used social media to PR this campaign, and how much better they could have used it.
The tweet, which in itself contradicts itself (as the label of the bottle actually does say ‘beer for girls’) gives nothing away about the campaign and leaves it open to a whole load of critics.
It is common knowledge that more often than not, people will only click on a link if it is enticing. Realistically, you want to get as much as your message across on a tweet as you can if you want your viewers to follow through over to your campaign page. What this tweet does however, is leave a lot to interpretation and it would seem twitter users are filling in the gaps in a way which Brewdog really didn’t intend.
One only has to open the tweet to notice the backlash, with many users exclaiming that the brand are nothing more than sexist. Similarly to Doritos and the failed ‘lady crisp’ stunt (though that was a deliberate (and bad) move from Doritos!)
The campaign itself embodied all of the right intentions, yet the execution was so poor that it undermined the preliminary ‘good’ intentions all together. It has already faced immense backlash from the press, with many contending that the company completely missed the mark.
In my humble PR opinion, Brewdog is facing far more criticism than it should be.
If critics actually took the time to read in to the campaign and why they are doing it then it could be presumed that the said people would take a different stance. The ambiguity of the tweet and the amount left to ones imagination did it no favours here, and now a campaign with the best intentions is instead proving to be incredibly damaging to the company.
This goes to show just how influential social media can be, and just how important it is to always get it right. If not, not only do you risk flawing your campaign but you also put your whole organisation at risk – similarly to what we are seeing here with Brewdog.
The moral of the story? Think your content through before hitting that ‘tweet’ button, as those 280 characters may just have the potential to end your business.