Maybe you remember it: about a year and a half ago, Bush fils offered Chrysler its first round of bailout dough, and many Americans weren’t happy about it. Of course, more often than not, those folks were technically “Merikens”, who somehow managed to blame Obama for the governmental support, but that’s neither here nor there.
To smooth things over, Chrysler decided that it would take out giant-sized ads in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, which are, incidentally, the newspapers of record for Merikens. Written out in ginormous, respectable, authoritative serifs were the words “THANK YOU AMERICA”, followed by some smaller-point tripe about what folks in the good ol’ USofA could expect from their comrades in Auburn Hills.
Problem is, the ads only made people angrier — not only because of the missing direct-address comma in the copy (which was maddening enough), but also because the bajillions of dollars that Chrysler spent to run those ads could’ve probably been put to better use. Like, say, developing cars that might actually sell so that Chrysler wouldn’t need to borrow cash from the feds in the future.
What Chrysler had forgotten was the all-important Mean Girls Rule: Sometimes, Bitches Just Be Hatin’. In non-playground parlance: every so often, people want to vilify you. In fact, they need to vilify you, whether it’s for legitimate reasons (you stole their money/man/job) or illegitimate reasons (you chose the same theme for your Twitter page). At the time, Chrysler was a punching bag, and anything the company did or said was twisted around to make matters worse. It just needed to sit quietly and take its licks.
And now, BP.
These two ads ran in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (top) and New York Times (bottom), which are, incidentally, the newspapers of record for a divided America. Take a good look and read that copy.
Are you snarking yet?
Tony, Tony, Tony, if you’re listening, please take some unsolicited advice:
1) Skip the feelgood branding ads. I’m sure your gas station franchisees appreciate the effort, but it’s a waste of money right now.
2) Perhaps you should take the dough you’d spend on such ads — how much is that? $50,000? $100,000? — and build a berm or two. Or put it in reserve. Or better yet, retain some more attorneys. Because you are going to be sued nine ways to Sunday by every person, place, and thing along the Gulf. Probably including Cuba. I’d wish you good luck, but I, like the bitches, be hatin’.