10 #NeverForget Brand Tweets: Offensive or Acceptable?

He’s joking, BTW. And if you didn’t see this post coming, then you must not have logged on to Twitter today. It really does seem like every. single. brand. has taken the opportunity to piggyback off this twelfth anniversary of 9/11 in order to increase exposure…or something like that. Here’s the tweet that’s been irritating everyone in media: 

The image was tacky, sure—and the social team quickly issued an apology and deleted it.

But is AT&T the worst offender? And how terrible are these brand posts, really?

Well, it’s barely 3:00, and some reference to #NeverForget or 9/11 has appeared in tweets from brands associated with everything from big box stores:

To waffles:

To late-night stoner food:

To diapers(!):

To TV shows:

To football teams (seriously, every team in the NFL did this):

To credit cards:

To cars:

To firearms, for God’s sake:

OK, that’s more than enough. You get the point.

General response to these messages is mixed: some see co-opting 9/11 as the epitome of tastelessness while others note that none of these messages, with the exception of AT&T and possibly Blue Bloods, are directly selling any particular product.

We’re not quite sure how we feel. We certainly can’t claim to “own” memories of a particularly traumatic event, but while this isn’t a new trend, Twitter seems more offended than usual this year. Maybe the public—and especially those of us who work in media—is simply more aggressive about “shaming” brands whose messages they don’t like.

Some of these posts got solid engagement numbers, even if they inspired journalists to attack en masse. Was it a mistake for so many brands to sign on?

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