Why People Went ‘Nuts’ at Snickers

Sorry, I had to.


Well, this week on “brands that insult consumers and make them angry”, we have good ole’ Snickers. So, what did they do? Oh, just the small matter of insulting an entire nation and their language. Standard behaviour, like. 

Snickers UK posted a tweet comparing Welsh place names to someone sitting on a keyboard. Marketing genius.

Earlier today Snickers tweeted 'A place in Wales or someone sat on a keyboard? A thread'

It got a couple likes and a couple retweets, but a lot of Welsh Twitter users were NOT impressed (gee, I wonder why???) and called them out straight away. 

Apart from not really being relevant to Snickers, or anything really, the post was deemed racist, xenophobic and just bad craic really. See, making jokes about place names is basically laughing at the language. People pointed out that Welsh is already belittled and mocked a lot across the water, so this was just a massive brand joining in at taking the ‘mickey’ out of the language, the people, and the culture. 

Many threatened to stop buying the chocolate after they were angered and upset by the tweet


Why’d they choose Wales? Because some people think that Welsh place names are “funny”, but, if you swapped Welsh with any other language, what sort of reaction would get? Can you imagine if they did this post about China or India? Probably not. Because they probably won’t wouldn’t.

Not gonna lie like, this it wasn’t exactly the most pointful thing I’ve ever read. Seems a bit random to just start laughing at Welsh place names ? For a peanut chocolate bar ? Like ? ? Cad é ?

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Like I just don’t really get what it has to do with anything? It’s not like the language is JUST IN, or these place names were JUST made up, and I don’t think Wales was in the news for any particular reason? So, it wasn’t exactly ‘topical’, was it? 

I mean, fair enough, it did get “consumer engagement”, but not in a good way. In true consumer-revenge fashion, people threatened to boycott Snickers for life because of the whole thing. You have to love the severity of consumer-revenge threats. I mean, no harm like, but I doubt Snickers are gonna go into administration because James in Cardiff is no longer buying his 3rd favourite chocolate bar. But, stick it to the man, I suppose. 

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Snickers UK responded to the mess they made, but they didn’t tell people to stop shouting at chocolate bars. They went a lil more traditional in their approach with a standard apology. I mean, when you’re in the wrong, there isn’t really any other way to act, is there?

But, at least they tried to make the apology relevant to their brand, with a wee nod to their tagline. 

Snickers later issued another apology stating that they were 'wholeheartedly thankful' for their Welsh fans

Almost as cunning as their original tweet.

Some Welsh people did show support for Snickers, saying that they found it funny and weren’t offended. But, I think what makes it so bad is that Snickers isn’t Welsh. Spoiler alert! 

If a Welsh company or celebrity or regular non-famous person (can’t relate) tweeted this, it probably would’ve got a fair few more retweets. But, everyone (well, everyone apart from Snickers’ marketing team) knows that there’s things where it’s okay if YOU or a certain group of people say or laugh about something, but if an OUTSIDER says it, then it’s all kinds of unacceptable. 

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Irish jokes don’t bode well with me at all, like. Neither do jokes about women. There’s certain things I can say or call myself, but the second someone else does, all hell breaks loose. And I think that’s part of the reason that this Snickers tweet was a massive flop. It’s not just what was said, but who said it, and their sort of right to do so.

But, hey, at least it gives them a good reason to finally change back to ‘Marathon’. Wee “new name, new us” rebrand might do ’em some good, like. Every cloud and all that.

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Future Marathon tweet?

Don’t Shout at Tea, It Talks Back.

So, if you’ve been on the internet at all since Friday, you’ve probably seen #SueYoureShoutingAtTea trending.

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Saying that, I didn’t even know anything about it until today, I really should get Twitter, like. BUT, in my defence, us Irish ones don’t care much for Yorkshire tea when we’ve got proper Irish stuff like Nambarrie and Punjana to keep us going. Just saying.

Anyway, here’s a lil summary to keep y’all in the loop:On Friday, Rishi Sunak (a baddie tory ) posted a photo of himself (the vanity) with a massive bag of Yorkshire tea on Twitter. A lot of people obviously thought that this was a paid partnership or advertisement of some sort – which, is a bit ridiculous when you think about it, I mean, who would pay to be associated with that party? No harm, like.

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So, in true Twitter fashion, users pretty much ripped into Yorkshire Tea, threatening to boycott them and calling them all sorts. Must be pretty scundering that you’ve got the opposite of Midas touch and people will boycott something as serious as tea brands just because you use ’em. And brands are actively trying to disassociate from you. Take a hint, lads.  

Even though Yorkshire Tea actually came out at the weekend and said that it was nothing to do with them. One woman in particular was having NONE of it, behold, the star of the show: Sue. Spoiler alert: Yes, it was her who shouted at tea. Let’s take a look at what she said. Enjoy.

So, how did Yorkshire Tea respond to all this negative criticism? With a well thought out, articulate public announcement, of course. Ahem:

Twitter pretty much went nuts over this, hence the trending hashtag. Someone jokingly said they should make t-shirts with a “Sue, you’re shouting at tea” slogan, which of course, someone did. If Forever 21 was still around, you can BET they’d be stocking ’em. 

Yorkshire Tea’s response got a hell of a lot more attention than the original post by Rishi Sunak did, and it got people talking about something else other than the whole right-wing-association thing, AND didn’t just “restore” attitudes towards the brand, it improved them. I personally always assumed they were a bit of a boring brand, because well, look at the box. Plus, look who uses them, just saying. But, now, they seem a lot more interesting. I’m still not gonna buy their teabags like, but still, fair play lads.

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As with EVERYTHING, some people aren’t happy with how Yorkshire Tea handled it. They said that they’ve pretty much humiliated Sue and made her a laughing stock on the internet. Thousands of people have seen the tweets are basically taking the mickey (keepin’ it PG [Tips]) out of her. She’s pretty much been scundered in front of thousands. 

I know she called them out, so they can call her out back, but, at the end of the day, she’s one person, and they’re a major brand. They’re more cut out for bad press than she is. Saying that, Yorkshire Tea, no matter how good their PR team is, probably didn’t think the tweet would go as viral as it did. And, at least her display photo (I don’t even know if that’s what they’re called on Twitter but O well) wasn’t even her. 

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Probably Sue right now

But, all funny tweets and tea-shirts (ha ha) aside, it highlights a problem for brands.  What happens when someone who a lot of people hate likes or uses your brand?  At the end of the day, you can’t stop people posting photos of your products and “promoting” your brand, even if you would rather they bought from your competitors instead.

Regardless of any bad press, I think it’s safe to say that Yorkshire Tea more than recovered from the lil Tory blip. So, what does all this teach PR and social media managers about crisis management? A witty tweet can do a hell of a lot more than a press release, apology, official statement and Labour-inspired photoshoot combined. 

Using Films for Political Campaigns: Good for Politicians, or Bad for the Films?

You might have seen Trump’s MARVELlous campaign video. Ha ha. Not really. Anyway, twitter account ‘Trump War Room’ which claims to be managed by ‘Team Trump’ released a video campaign promoting Trump’s potential re-election in 2020.   

It shows Donald’s face on Thanos’s body, in an (apparently) very famous scene from the Avengers film. I actually saw this film and it still doesn’t make much sense to me. (My attention span only goes so far when Julia Roberts isn’t involved). Basically, the jist is, Donald /Thanos declares that his re-election in 2020 is “inevitable” and then clicks his fingers (because that’s how Thanos kills people apparently). Yep.

Anyway, this lil stunt didn’t go down so well (SHOCK) for a couple of reasons:

1. Thanos is a baddie.

2. SPOILER ALERT: Thanos dies seconds after this scene.

3. People don’t really like when politicians ruin use a film they love to promote their questionable political agendas.

4. Because (some) people consider Trump to be a baddie, too.

So yeah, Trump compares himself to an infamous villain that no one but himself likes, who vows to wipe out all of his enemies. And wants to kill everyone. And then dies. After he’s wiped out by his enemies. No, it wasn’t the Democrats who came up with this. It was actually Trump’s team. I know. 

Now, Trump’s not the only one doing this (that’s the most defence I can give him). Britain’s Donald Trump Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, did something similar the other day. Only it was worse. He tried to associate himself with the iconic classic, “Love Actually”. How DARE he taint the name of one of the GREATEST films of all time. Despicable.

And for obvious and similar reasons, people weren’t happy.

For one, the actual film creators don’t want associations unless they’ve been agreed and paid for. (A lil thing called “copyright infringement” is a bit of an issue, you see).

Jim Starlin (the man who invented Thanos) wasn’t happy at all either, (again, SHOCK). He said, “After my initial feeling of being violated, seeing that pompous fool using my creation to stroke his infantile ego, it finally struck me that the leader of my country and the free world actually enjoys comparing himself to a mass murderer. How sick is that?” I hear ya, Jim.

Plus, when politicians use a film we love to promote themselves, it doesn’t make us like them. It makes us not like the film.

It’s like when brands use songs in their ads, and then play it to death. Any time you hear that song, you get flashbacks to the ad. So while Trump might want people to think of him when they watch Avengers. People don’t want to think about him. Wonder why. Sure Pharrell Williams has already told Trump to stop playing his song “Happy”, because people might think they’re associated. Poor Pharrell.

Saying that, when you’re known as a “controversial” figure, some negative tweets probably won’t phase you. And, doing something like this does get a lot of attention. Do you think someone like Jim Starlin would feel the need to speak out about his outrage to a standard, promo video of Trump? Unlikely. This got the public, celebrities, and news outlets talking. And, they get to annoy their opponents, which is probably a bonus for them.

So, maybe using popular films to promote political campaigns does work. When you’re someone like Trump or Johnston, what have you got to lose anyway?

Just please, PLEASE, leave ‘Love Actually’ alone.

How to Lose Customers and Alienate People

Have you ever entered a competition or giveaway online? Probably. Well, why not? You might win; someone has to, right? Wrong.

When you enter and don’t get that notification or ‘tag’, you assume you haven’t won and someone else bagged that takeaway or voucher. Lucky son of a gun. Disappointing, isn’t it? Well, would it make you feel any better if I told you that maybe no one actually won it? Yeah, thought it might.

Recently, a lot of brands have started doing “giveaways” and competitions on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. “Simply ‘like’ and ‘share’ or ‘tag your friend that you’d share it with’ for your chance to win”. Now, it’s not exactly a news flash that this is just to increase engagement, activity and interest among consumers. It doesn’t just promote the “prize” product, but the brand and all of its products. Pages you don’t follow come up on your feed because your friends or followers have commented, shared or tagged you in posts (I’m flattered you’d take to me to the spa with you, Amber – much appreciated). And why shouldn’t they? There’s no harm in it. It’s a win-win, really. Brand gets publicity, attention and sales; consumer gets free goodies. Sounds pretty g to me.

I see these competitions and giveaways all the time. I personally don’t enter them because I don’t want a “munch box” that clogs your arteries just by looking at it, and sadly, I don’t exactly have good luck (or any luck for that matter) when it comes to these things. So I just keep scrolling and don’t think anything of it. But the other day, I noticed something th.at annoyed me a wee bit: companies do these “giveaways” but without the whole, ya know, “giving away” part. Basically, there is no winner. Hmm, maybe I’m not unlucky after all.

Over the past week, online retailer Missguided launched several “giveaways” – how to win? Simply comment an emoji representing your favourite of the two items shown. One came up on my newsfeed, so I thought “eh, may as well enter and see”, so commented (the pink was definitely nicer, I can’t pull off baby blue). “Enter by midnight.. Winner announced [the next day]”. So the next day, I checked their profile to see who the winner was, or if they’d been announced yet. Nope, nothing yet. So I checked a few hours later, but still nothing. By 10pm, still no joy. The next morning, they posted another one. “Winner announced tomorrow”. “Maybe I’ll win this one” (grey was a better option, I’d just get the white one boggin’). Tomorrow came and went and still no winner. But they continued to post about other products and memes, as well as launching ANOTHER competition. You see where this is going. Didn’t even bother entering this one, not just because I wouldn’t suit either outfit, but because I caught on to what they were doing and so was huffing on them a wee bit.

I was right, I didn’t win the competition. But no one did. So, why did Missguided do it? Why choose to misguide consumers? *pause for laughter*. Well, this is a shot in the dark, but the 10,000 comments, thousands of likes and hundreds of shares might have something to do with it. Show people a product – one they wouldn’t have otherwise seen, because they weren’t on or going to go on your website and see it there. Now that they’ve seen it, they like it. If they don’t win it, they might decide it’s worth the £25 anyway and buy it. May as well. Just because they didn’t win it, doesn’t mean they can’t have it.

How many of these items did Missguided give away? 0. Now, how many do you think they sold? How many people saw the items? And how many would’ve seen them otherwise? How many new followers did get as a result? You sort of have to follow the page to find out the winner, like. Then, there’s the people like me who went on the page specifically to see who won, and ended up seeing other items being promoted. Their new Playboy range launched in the meantime (yeah, I didn’t know it was still a thing either). Chances are, some of these people clicked links on the posts to see these items. So, chances are, some people ended up buying something. It was payday week after all. Yeo.

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I really hope the collection’s not like this

Now, I’m not just singling out Missguided – I’m guessing they’re not the only ones who have used or are using this promotional ploy. They’re just the only ones I’ve actually seen. Lucky duckies.

These fake giveaways are a great way to boost user engagement and activity. They’re a great way to increase sales of individual items. They’re also a great way to have a blog post written about them. But they’re not a great way to build a reputation. Lies, unfulfilled promises and unmet expectations – what a fab way to portray the brand!!

If someone wins a product and likes it, they’ll probably buy from that company again. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but that won’t happen if no one wins the product. Just another slight flaw to the plan. Apart from people actually catching on to what they’re doing.

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So, hats off to the social media and marketing teams out there who do this (especially the ones who don’t get caught). Credit where credit’s due, gaining sales without losing merch seems pretty smart. But, gaining a bad rep and losing trust – and potentially customers, seems less smart.

If consumers don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you. And something tells me that’s a bigger price to pay than giving away a free playsuit.

So, chapeau to the companies who actually give away products. You deserve your likes.

Why Did Azealia Banks Call Me “Ugly”?

Well, I’m sure you all probably know the whole drama surrounding Azealia Banks this week. But if not, here’s wee recap:

Basically Azealia Banks (she’s a “rapper”) was due to perform in Dublin’s Academy, and so was flying over from wherever she was. She got into a dispute with the flight attendant and then left the plane. She was flying meant to be flying with Aer Lingus, so instead of insulting the employee or the Irish air line, Miss Banks had to take it a step further and insult the whole country and its people. How nice.

Miss Banks sporting the native flag of us “ugly” folk

She went on a big rant on Instagram, crying and saying that all Irish women are “ugly”. This is obviously untrue, I mean, have you seen me? My ma says I’m gorgeous. Anyway, she obviously had a bit of making up to do before her concert to avoid being “potatoed” (egged, but, with spuds) on stage as one Instagram user threatened. Way to break stereotypes guys.

After sailing over (she refused to fly), she played to a surprising 800 “fans” – maybe they forgave her, or maybe they just wanted to get their money’s worth – dedicated to “beautiful Irish women”. This girl should really teach a masterclass in PR damage control.

Actual footage of Azealia Banks trying to win back her Irish fans

So that’s that then? Oh, honey no.
For literally no reason, Azealia decided to bash us once more online. This time, she stepped up her childish insults by decided branding the Irish as “inbred”, “barbarians”, and said to one Instagram user “don’t you have a famine to go die in?” What a lovely gal, a true delight.

Anyway, why did she do this? Why be racist not once, but twice to a whole nation purely because of one altercation with a flight attendant?
Because she needs help? Likely. But I’m gonna Louis Theroux it and whack another theory in the mix: she needs publicity.

It’s no secret that apart from her banger “212” – which is SUCH a tune by the way, her other songs haven’t exactly topped the charts,
and she doesn’t get much airtime because of the style and language in her music. When all of this was going on, a lot of users were asking who she even was; I – a former fan, didn’t even know she was on tour (in my own country?)

Her Instagram story went viral, with users flocking to her profile to watch her “rant”. People who didn’t even know who she was or forgot about her went on too, thus (what a word) planting her name back in their minds. People went on her profile, Googled her, talked about her, commented on her posts, giving her a stack of bad publicity. Which is still publicity.

Plus, Azealia Banks gets more exposure and is better known for her “beef”s with celebrities like Lana Del Ray on Twitter than her music. She’s a controversial figure, and she doesn’t exactly have a positive image or reputation, so what has she got to lose? The hearts of a nation, yes. But sure, we’re all inbreds and apparently the rest of the world doesn’t care about us or want to associate with us leprechauns anyway.

So, maybe this was just another little PR stunt to keep her in the public eye, or maybe she is just a header. Who knows?