Sheehan: Chevy, MLB Didn't Need to Yank 'Silverado Strong' Promo

Marketer and League Likely Went Overboard

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Chevrolet and Major League Baseball probably made the prudent call to cancel its "Silverado Strong" World Series promotion. With critics claiming it was too similar to the "Boston Strong" mantra adopted by the city after the Boston Marathon bombing, it could have erupted into a social-media firestorm.

Mike Sheehan
Mike Sheehan

But even Hill Holiday Chairman Mike Sheehan, who led the effort to create the One Fund Boston charity that's raised $72 million for bombing victims, thinks Chevy and MLB went overboard canceling the promotion in which fans were supposed to hold signs spelling out "Silverado Strong" during Game 5 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

The use of the term "Strong" is ubiquitous on Madison Avenue and in pop culture, noted Mr. Sheehan. Think the U.S. Army's "Army Strong" ad campaign, which replaced the late "Army of One" effort. The victims of Hurricane Sandy in the state of New Jersey have adopted "Jersey Strong" as their slogan for resilience and recovery. Don't forget disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong's "Livestrong" foundation.

Said Mr. Sheehan: "The term 'strong' is very broad. It's been used by the U.S. Army for years, and it was used in New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy. It also happens to be a key attribute of a pickup truck. I just don't see it as being exploitive of any particular group of people -- and I am ultra-sensitive to the survivors of the Boston bombings being exploited in any way."

In the aftermath of the April bombing that killed three and wounded more than 180 people, Mr. Sheehan and his team put together the One Fund in just seven frenzied hours. Since then, Mr. Sheehan has devoted much of his time to weeding out frauds and charlatans trying to bilk people who genuinely want to help Marathon victims.

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