American Apparel, It Was Not Fireworks.
The Space Shuttle Challenge was a catastrophe that occurred in the year 1986 and shocked the world. Many people observed the event on television, and images of the orbiter’s detonation, which occurred over a span of 73 seconds. It is still vivid in the minds of many individuals who still carry sorrow within their hearts. Therefore since it is a tragic event that had occurred, with the lives of many being destroyed, it is definitely something that should be referenced carelessly. However, this is exactly what the clothing brand American Apparel had done, an example of a corporate social media fail. To elaborate on what happened, in 2014 American Apparel released an image of the space shuttle explosion on Tumblr containing tags such as #clouds and #smoke. This ad was created for the celebration of Fourth of July. Amerian Apparel is acknowledged for its provocative ads but this ad took it way too far. After realizing how offensive and inappropriate this ad was, the company removed the image and stated an apology. This is an example of how canned content contributed to this failure. Firstly, there was not an intention of bettering the brand or valuing your audience. It felt like a very “lazy” ad. It was a pretty generic ad, which many other brands would have also done in order to celebrate Fourth of July. Furthermore American Apparel stated that one of the international social media employees was born after the tragedy and therefore mistook the image as fireworks. It is clear that this must have been a quick and easy ad put together without actually researching or digging in deep about where the picture had originated. Next time American Apparel should get its facts straight and maybe ask a few people around if the explosion of a space shuttle looks like fireworks.
Procter & Gamble for several years has been successful in changing the negative stereotypes fixed against young girls. Through their #LikeAGirl campaign, this company has been able to boost young girls’ self esteem and confidence by producing a series of videos that are all based on women empowerment. The videos created received over 53 million views and the hashtage #LikeAGirl blow up on social media platforms such as Twitter. The intention behind these videos was to touch the lives of all the girls who are experiencing being boxed within these gender dynamics while showcasing the brand’s message. The viral videos created feature a well-defined consumer understanding and brand values. This continuation of demeaning women who want an involvement in sports has impacted the lives of many young girls. There were surveys conducted by this company, which resulted in 7 out of 10 girls feeling that they don’t belong in sports. Due to this oppression by society, many girls tend to quit sports after reaching puberty because that’s when they tend to ‘behave” according to societal expectations. This brand therefore for several decades has strived to educate girls globally about puberty and their cycle in order to help them feel confident and make them realize that they are unstoppable. In order to support this goal the brand had several planned strategies and one of them involved Williams who is an 18-year-old star that signed as an advocate. Her main goal was to clear up the misconception of what girls can and should do and that they don’t have to stay trapped within the expectations of society. This notion of girls being constricted to society’s specific gender stereotypical boxes is confronted in one of the videos that was produced which introduced the brand’s ‘Unstoppable’ theme. The thought behind this video was to be very personal and influential in changing the meaning of ‘like a girl’ from an offense to a commendation. The video was specifically designed to encourage girls to demolish these stereotypical limitations. At the end of the video the hashtag “Like A Girl” appears, encouraging people to share how they are unstoppable. This campaign even included tweets from celebrities such as Melinda Gates and Chelsea Clinton. Therefore with a combination of planned content, powerful message, social media and famous personalities, this brand was very successful in changing the image of the brand by instilling it with a purpose.