May the Force Be with You, Carrie Fisher (& not Cinnabon) - Social Media Explorer
May the Force Be with You, Carrie Fisher (& not Cinnabon)
May the Force Be with You, Carrie Fisher (& not Cinnabon)

There’s a lamentable truism in social media circles that no one notices brand tweets until they screw up. This was certainly the case on Tuesday when I spotted this unfortunate post from Cinnabon:

Shocked by the remarkable insensitivity and ugly opportunism (if you knew anything at all about Carrie Fisher, you’d know she had a love/hate relationship with those buns), I called them out on it with this tweet:

Shortly thereafter, perhaps coincidentally and to their credit Cinnabon had deleted the ill-advised tweet. At this point, I pondered the apparent lack of maturity in our industry – is it possible brands were still ceding control of their social voice to junior staffers without any guidelines against opportunistic and insensitive newsjacking?

Later that day and in stark contrast, my friends over at Silicon Valley Comic Con released this appropriately somber and reverential tweet:

And this more detailed post on Facebook:

In addition to getting the tone just right, the more fundamental difference between these and Cinnabon’s lame post is that Silicon Valley Comic Con had legitimate reasons to participate in the shared grief of the moment. First, Comic Con fans worship at the altar of Star Wars and cosplay versions of Princess Leia abound at every event. Second, Carrie Fisher (and her beloved French bulldog Gary) had been lined up to appear at SVCC 2017, a fact that had excited hundreds of her fans and no doubt made her sudden death that much more poignant.  This lesson here is hopefully obvious. In the case of brands joining social media conversations about tragic events, you’d be well advised to remember the words of Benjamin Franklin, “When in doubt, don’t.”

As for Carrie, she would have laughed at all the fuss including the over-seriousness of this column. Self-deprecating to the last, she wielded her foibles like a light saber, sharing the pieces of her life one silly tweet at a time. The galaxy is a bit emptier.  RIP Princess.

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About the Author

Drew Neisser
"CMO Whisperer" Drew Neisser, is the Founder/CEO of Renegade, the NYC-based agency that has helped CMO’s find innovative ways to cut through since 1996. He is also the former Publisher of Social Media Explorer. He is a recognized authority on non-traditional marketing techniques having won innumerable awards for creativity and campaign effectiveness and is the author of The CMO’s Periodic Table: A Renegade’s Guide to Marketing and is the host of the podcast series Renegade Thinkers Unite. Ranked in 2016 among Brand Quarterly’s “50 Marketing Thought Leaders Over 50,” he has been a featured marketing expert on ABC News, CBS Radio and the Tony Robbins podcast series among many others. Drew writes the CMO Spotlight column for AdAge and TheDrewBlog. He consults on digital / social media trends via the GLG network and sits on the boards of the Urban Green Council and Duke NY.

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