Sept. 11 is a difficult time for brands to take on Twitter. While some industry observers applaud brands that try to inject themselves into social chatter, more often than not, tweets can end up as fiascoes in an otherwise well-meaning flurry of posts.
Already, many marketers' 9/11 efforts today have ended up as #brandfails. CVS Pharmacy posted a photo of Manhattan with two lights representing the Twin Towers and a logo in the bottom corner. The tweet was swiftly removed after people started complaining about the branded skyline, although several Twitter users managed to screengrab the tweet. The Vitamin Shoppe and Burlington Coat Factory posted similar tweets this morning and have, at press time, kept them live.
Then there are sex brands like Official Fleshlight and Brazzers weighing in on Sept. 11, which seems totally out of place. And a tweet from Birmingham, Ala., tie company Tied to the South requested a retweet for every death caused by the terrorist attack. The latter was quickly deleted.
Build-A-Bear also removed a tweet this morning of a teddy bear in fatigues after getting some flack on Twitter.
And now for the good
Nordstrom and Walmart's played up the Manhattan skyline with posts too but, unlike the aforementioned brands, left their logos out.
Applebee’s and Cinnabon skipped their usual food porn tweets this morning. Instead, Applebee’s posted a simple tweet of a flag with copy that read, "We will never forget."
The City of New York posted a simple photo of the Twin Towers that also became its profile picture. And, New York retailer Century 21 sent out a picture of a memorial painted by artist Mr. Brainwash at its Financial District store.
Macy’s and JetBlue chose to skip images altogether and instead posted copy in remembrance of the attack. And after AT&T's snafu last year, with a tweet showing a phone in front of the Tribute in Lights, the brand also stuck with a simple line of copy this year.
Here are the worst tweets:
— Sam Thielman (@samthielman) September 11, 2014
— Official Fleshlight (@Fleshlight) September 11, 2014
— Helena Bottom-Farter (@solikebasically) September 11, 2014
— Miles Kahn (@mileskahn) September 11, 2014
— Sean Ryan (@SeanWRyan) September 11, 2014
And the good-natured tweets:
Today we honor the memory of those who lost their lives on September 11. pic.twitter.com/OW2FZt8O8l
— Dunkin' Donuts (@DunkinDonuts) September 11, 2014
— White Castle (@WhiteCastle) September 11, 2014
— Lilly Pulitzer (@LillyPulitzer) September 11, 2014
— Lincoln Center (@LincolnCenter) September 11, 2014
Saks Fifth Avenue will never forget the bravery and courage shown on September 11. pic.twitter.com/K46g7tMKW1
— Saks Fifth Avenue (@saks) September 11, 2014
— Century 21 Stores (@century21stores) September 11, 2014
Always Remember. pic.twitter.com/2SsTeoemjf
— Walmart (@Walmart) September 11, 2014
Today, we remember. pic.twitter.com/Dw7nyXGMGP
— Nordstrom (@Nordstrom) September 11, 2014
Today we honor the heroes and remember those who lost their lives on 9/11/01. pic.twitter.com/WbR2Cp97uk
— Cinnabon (@Cinnabon) September 11, 2014
— Museum of Modern Art (@MuseumModernArt) September 11, 2014
— Delta (@Delta) September 11, 2014
— Burlington (@Burlington) September 11, 2014