As Hurricane Sandy barreled down on the East Coast of the United States is was inevitable that some companies would try to link their marketing efforts to the storm of the century. You could look at the marketing as being offensive, or as being good for business. Well, it seems it was a little of both. Here is a short list of those who did it right.
Duracell- a tale of two executions
A fine line exists between advertising your brand and advertising during an impending national disaster. Initially, Duracell ran ads promoting their batteries prior to Sandy’s arrival. Shameless advertising? And yet, Duracell found the right balance in the aftermath of the storm.
Charging to the rescue in Battery Park
The tri-state area surrounding New York City (comprised also of Connecticut and New Jersey) is still experiencing power outages leaving many in the dark and with no means of charging their electronic devices. Yesterday, Duracell activated their Rapid Response Charging Stations and in particular travelled to Battery Park in Lower Manhattan, no pun intended, offering free batteries and access to chargers along with WiFi. Clearly, Duracell is creating value for their brand, while at the same, providing a valuable lifeline for people to charge their phones, assorted electronic devices, and access their e-mail and social media accounts to stay connected.
Manhattanites flock to Starbuck’s locations for free WiFi
Aside from supplying badly needed coffee, Starbuck locations are providing free WIFi so people can connect with loved ones and check their e-mails.
Apparently, I am in good hands with Allstate
This past Monday evening, I received an e-mail from my insurance company, Allstate, providing tips on how to weather Hurricane Sandy – and I live in Toronto. At first it seemed odd considering I did not live anywhere near the predicted eye of the storm. Well, after experiencing the severe wind and torrential rain the customer service message was really appreciated. As someone at the gym grumbled when I showed the e-mail, “my insurance company did not think to send me anything”. Very nice gesture, Allstate!
Naughty and Nice List
Here is Santa Claus’ list as compiled by the Richmond Examiner of those advertisers that have been naughty and those who have been nice //www.examiner.com/article/hurricane-sandy-brings-out-the-best-and-worst-advertisers.
Apparently, there is no one better than the Waffle House restaurant chain. In reading this article, I learnt about the Waffle House Index – they build natural disasters into their business plan and make it part of their marketing strategy to stay open regardless of the weather to service the communities where they operate. They even order extra supplies. As a result, the Federal Emergency Management Administration looks at how many Waffle House locations are operating out of the norm to gauge where relief efforts are most needed.
Which companies would you add to the list?