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The Robinson Report – Brand Busters

“Those who are determined to be ‘offended’ will discover a provocation somewhere” – Christopher Hitchens

It happened.  Again.

A big brand attempts to stretch and fails all over themselves.

Certainly you’ve read the discourse over the Anheuser-Busch decision to market their popular product Bud Light – with a famous Tik-Toker.

In Bud Light’s case – the ‘apology’ follow-up ad made their situation – direr.

Their fumble is preceded by giant, cascading brand-stretch failures like New CokeAyds Diet ChewsThe Edsel.  

Also – less famous but equally as dumbfounding – the launch of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 O.M.G.I.G.P. and Skittle’s ‘Touch The Rainbow’.

We collectively arm-chair quarterback these blunders with a chuckle and ‘wish I was in THAT meeting’ attitudes.

Do not think this could happen to you – and your brand.

When The Jack Format rolled through North America twenty years back, a bunch of competing brands tried their own version of ‘We Play Anything Weekends’.  A small ‘wow’ ensued but eventually – a broken brand promise.

In addition – also two decades ago – there was a trend among Christian formats to infuse secular music in their music matrix in an attempt to lure non-Christian fans to sample the product.  The killer was when Wind-Up Records began selling Evanescence’s ‘Bring Me To Life’ in Christian Book Stores.  Big brand bust.

If you’re in the infotainment, feel-good space, allowing morning show talent take a divisive turn at a political topic – ANY divisive content – is going to bust your brand.  Why alienate 50% of your audience when all your listener wants is to get their kids safety to school without spilling their coffee.

The listener has hundreds of options – on dozens of platforms.

Know your core audience.

We can prevent you from tumbling to #10 – while reaching for #1!

Next Up – The Green Mile