In times like these, we cannot stay silent. In this episode of "What Were They Thinking?" Melissa reflects upon the recent tragedy in Charlottesville, Va., how automobile brand Dodge was impacted and how the maker of the Challenger could have

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  • Brian Wagner

    Well written and well delivered. Agreed, marketers, brand managers can’t still back. They do need a plan of action for the unforeseen times when, as Melissa said, their brand is linked to a tragic event such as with Dodge.

    • Melissa Ward

      Thanks Brian … as I so eloquently said in the video, this sucks in so many ways. But Dodge should have handled it better. Unfortunately this is our new reality, so we need to be prepared to step up and comment as appropriate.

      Thanks for watching, and taking the time to comment!

  • Blue

    “We live in an always on, always connected world.” Well said. That’s the gap that companies need to fill. The old school marketing cycle is long gone.

    Love your work, Melissa!

  • Peter Rosenwald

    It’s becoming quite simple (the way Trump likes it). You either stand up for your beliefs or they will disappear.This is a critical moment. Pieces like yours, Melissa, are great because they remind us while we are working that there is something on the table more important than just business as usual.

  • Tom Smith

    Melissa, thank you for sharing. Dodge knows their demographics, like Trump. I would equate the two and their responses, or lack thereof, as corroboration of their vision, mission, and values. Perhaps their insensitivity will hurt them with minorities and women, but that’s not their target persona so it doesn’t hurt their bottom line and that’s what’s most important to them.

    • Melissa Ward

      Tom, I get the point you’re making … but there’s a part of me that hopes it’s wrong. Maybe it’s because I’m naive and hope for better in this world, and expect better from marketers. I’m glad the folks behind Roadkill, however, were quick to speak out and denounce any association, and I hope they’re able to continue holding their annual drag race event, because this lady loves her some burning rubber and rumbling engines.

      As always, thanks for watching and taking the time to comment!!!

  • Jim Griffin

    For a low-life, semi-literate miscreant to use a vehicle as a weapon is reprehensible. To attempt to connect or blame the manufacturer for the idiot’s actions is a stretch. Equivalent to condemning the manufacturer of NH4NO3 because it was used by Timothy McVeigh.

    • Melissa Ward

      Jim, you’re absolutely right. This is not Dodge’s fault … but they should have handled the social media situation regarding #roadkillnights better, as well as shared a public statement on all channels about the situation. Something along the lines of how the event has no association with the atrocities committed in Charlottesville, etc. Staying silent just looks bad right now.

    • Tony The Pitiful Copywriter

      Optics. Optics. Optics. Now when I see the car I was hoping to make my mid-life crisis chariot, I don’t feel so good.

  • Viktory

    You are correct. Dodge, and other companies who are “co-opted” into these kinds of situations, should speak out. They should speak out at the dopes who do the idiotic co-opting because of their emotional, intellectually lazy thought processes when trying to link two things that are so obviously (to sane people) NOT linked in any way.

  • Tony The Pitiful Copywriter

    Last night I saw a Dodge Ram truck ad on cable that promoted community values. We saw a Ram truck owner move an old church, go to work at a construction site, and other nice stuff. But that’s not enough. Sadly, horribly, the car used to kill and maim was a gray one. Coincidence? It was the color as the uniform of the defeated Confederacy. I live in Durham, NC, and we are on pins and needles because extremists are just throwing gasoline on the fire. If I were in charge of the Dodge brand, we would have had a statement like the one the Tiki torch people had, or what the Cash family said. I also would have donated the proceeds from Road Kill Night to something positive in Charlottesville. -|||- You know, I just want to go to work every morning, use my marketing skills, and help sell wonderful stuff to happy customers. But because of the New Reality, each and every effing day feels like dog years. Today is day 210. Stay safe.

    • Melissa Ward

      I hear you completely. That’s one reason why I did this video … I wanted to use WWTT to go beyond fun and sass, and share something that we as marketers seriously have to consider and be prepared for.

  • Tony The Pitiful Copywriter

    On a more mundane note, has Target Marketing thought about putting some share buttons on these? I would have put this one on my Facebook page. Spot-on commentary.