Skittles Shuts Trump Jr. Down, 'Without Marketing'
Skittles brand reps seem to know what marketing is appropriate and when. Brought into political headlines on Monday and Tuesday by Donald Trump Jr.’s tweet that compared a bowl of the candy containing three deadly pieces to all Syrian refugees, brand reps responded with a simple statement.
— Mars, Incorporated (@MarsGlobal) September 20, 2016
Meanwhile, the @realDonaldTrump account didn’t mention this tweet from @DonaldJTrumpJr.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 19, 2016
So considering the candy company seemed to take the correct approach to this use of its brand, marketers can see that brand advocates took the company’s lead and shared its message. At the same time, the brand’s statement remains positive and doesn’t go on the attack.
But there are more marketing lessons available from the Skittles incident. Here’s what could’ve happened before the tweet from Trump Jr., “EVP of development and acquisitions, Trump Organization, and boardroom advisor on the ‘Apprentice’ ”:
Know Image Origins
Trump Jr. used an image from a photographer, himself a refugee, who made it clear on Tuesday that he didn’t give the presidential candidate’s son permission to use the picture the U.K. citizen took six years ago of a bowl of Skittles.
While Trump Jr. may not have violated any copyright laws, associating photographer David Kittos with the tweet may not be an on-brand message for his father’s presidential run.
"This was not done with my permission, I don't support his politics and I would never take his money to use it," Kittos told the BBC. "In 1974, when I was six-years old, I was a refugee from the Turkish occupation of Cyprus, so I would never approve the use of this image against refugees."
Have a Crisis Plan in Place That’s More Than Blame Deflection
Yeah, well, but they …
Trump Jr. spent Tuesday promoting his father’s presidential campaign, tearing down opponent Hillary Clinton and doubling down on the idea that terrorists may infiltrate the ranks of the Syrian refugees.
Rather than addressing the Skittles tweet — which he did leave in his feed — Trump Jr. pinned his tweet from March 11 to the top of his status updates.
Liberals love the first amendment until you say something they don't agree with.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 12, 2016
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.