This Guy’s Replies to 9/11 Brand Tweets Sum Up Everything That’s Wrong With 9/11 Brand Tweets

Should marketers say anything today?

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Brands that try to get in on the social conversation around 9/11 can come off as crass and opportunistic. But it takes a witty foil to really show how dumb some of the tweets are.

Luckily, Mike Monteiro is that foil.

Much of this morning, he's been replying to brands' 9/11 tweets with amusingly fake enthusiasm, giving his 45,000 followers some comic relief on what's always a difficult day.

Check out some of Monteiro's tweets below.

We reached out to Monteiro for comment, but he pointed us to Sean Bonner, who's also been monitoring branded 9/11 tweets today, and retweeting many of them. We spoke with Bonner to get his take. 

AdFreak: What makes these tweets feel so icky?

Sean Bonner: It's simple. Brands are not people. Brands do not have emotions or memories or condolences or heartbreak. People have those things, and when a brand tries to jump into that conversation, it's marketing. And in a less emotionally charged environment it's just dumb. But when talking about a tragedy that resulted in way too many people actually dying, it's icky times 1000.

How can brands insert themselves into the conversation without seeming opportunistic?

They can't. They shouldn't. Seriously, there's no way for a brand to "insert themselves into a conversation" about a tragedy like this without it being bad. I mean, really.

How could a brand's social media managers handle this with more sensitivity?

STFU. That's the best option. Today (or whatever other tragedy this kind of thing has happened with) isn't the time for marketing. It isn't the time for branding or getting people to pay attention to companies. It's a time for people to interact with each other, and the only respectful thing for brands to do is stay out of it and wait for tomorrow to get back to business.

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@KristinaMonllos Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.