Marketers Again Mistakenly Think 9/11 Is a Good Brand-Building Moment

Thanks for the Discounts, but No Thanks

By Published on .

It's become an annual ritual: trying to convince marketers that the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, which killed almost 3,000 people, is not the right subject for engaging consumers.

It's possible for advertisers to come up with respectful tweets, of course. White Castle wrapped the World Trade Center towers in American flag imagery and told followers "We remember." And Cinnabon got involved with a somber flag image.

It's just a question of what a burger chain or other fast-food store has to do with commemorating tragedies, whether national or personal.

And then there are messages apparently from marketers who really, really have no business getting involved.

Some smaller advertisers came right out and offered 9/11 discounts, seeming eager to turn Sept. 11 into something more like Presidents' Day.

But most just took the time just for some simple soul-searching and real-time-marketing.

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