By Geoffrey Stackhouse, Managing Director Clarity Solutions
Coopers, the popular South Australian beer, is in damage control after management claimed the brand had been hijacked and an excruciatingly embarrassing "Keeping it Light video" triggered a social media firestorm.
The ad is wrong on so many levels: politicians spruiking beer, Coopers wading in on the marriage equality debate, but most of all, the cringingly bad delivery. It's no wonder Coopers is racing to distance itself from the debacle.
In a statement released last night the brewer claims it didn't sponsor the ad, or even give permission for the brand to feature in video.
If Coopers brand really has been hijacked what can they do to limit the damage?
1.Get on the front foot and demand an explanation and retraction from the ad agency - reported to be Banjo - where presenter Matt Busby Andrews is Direct + Digital Creative Director;
2. Create the next news story by threatening a defamation suit without a full apology - if you are truly offended by your brand being hijacked show your customers you mean business, don't hide behind a limp statement;
3. Reach out to your customers to tell them your side of the story. Because this is being fought on social media, make that your battleground.
There's a whole other story here about ad agencies being clueless when it comes to creating editorial style content, but let's save that for another time.