Adventures In Brand Suicide

Graham is shocked …

… to see what some people think is good for their brand.

PEPSI: Oh God, this is the worst corporate PR disaster ever.
UNITED: Hold my beer…

“What were they thinking?” For the last few days, social media has been like an echo chamber — or something by Philip Glass or the Chainsmokers — with that phrase bouncing off the bandwidth, repeating over and over, seasoned with the occasional variant of “What the fuck were they thinking?” Pepsi and United’s forays into brand suicide were so obvious even to Joe/Joan Average that when Saturday Night Live satirized Pepsi’s commercial, they needed only to give us one end of the conversation as the hapless “director” describes to various uninvolved third parties what he is doing. In a fine performance (Beck Bennett), the actor’s facial expressions, body language,  and occasional attempts to interject told us all we needed to know of the responses from the unheard end.

 

As for United, the memes came thick and fast, including a clip from “Airplane” re-titled “United Training Manual” —

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