American Apparel’s Sandy Based Marketing: Good Or Bad?

American Apparel MarketingThere’s something to be said for getting in on a trend when it’s hot, social media marketing at it’s core is all about trends. When that great, roaring and rushing storm of interest starts to brew, it pays to be right in the eye of that sucker…unless the storm in question is a LITERAL one, of course.

American Apparel found that out the hard way when they tried to capitalize on hurricane Sandy’s arrival on the east coast. They sent out a mass-email Monday night (during peak storm hours) offering 20% off to customers who were in the danger zone. All you had to do was be in the right state and enter SANDYSALE at checkout.

This didn’t go over so well.

People took to social media in droves, complaining about the clothing company. Here are a couple recent replies:

–“American apparel just sent me a hurricane sandy 20% off sale alert to my email. I want to throw up again. Wtf is wrong with people!!???!!??”

–”Another tasteless marketing campaign by American Apparel. Why am I not surprised.”

The majority of the press has been negative, but maybe that’s the way they want it? These days, it can be pretty hard to tell the difference between a faux pas and genius marketing. This little “gaffe” landed American Apparel in many major news sources and got a lot of people talking about their brand, all for the low low price of an email.

Certainly, the press is negative, but IS there such a thing as bad publicity? What do you think, did they do it on purpose or was it an honest mistake?

Original article about American Apparel’s marketing was posted on Wikimotive’s blog under the title American Apparel and Sandy

Tim Martell

Timothy Martell is a digital marketing and SEO expert regularly sought out by both media and industry leaders for his opinion on social media marketing campaigns that really work. Timothy has been seen on MSNBC and Dateline, has been interviewed twice by Facebook for his successful dealership advertising campaigns, has been a featured speaker at automotive conferences such as, DMSC, AMBC, and the Driving Sales Executive Summit and has been featured on the cover of AutoSuccess magazine. Timothy is known for pushing the boundaries of conventional automotive thinking and producing social media campaigns that generate massive numbers of followers leading to record ROI.

2 thoughts on “American Apparel’s Sandy Based Marketing: Good Or Bad?

  1. I agree, I am an advocate for socially responsible marketing and I find many so called social media managers have no idea what that even means, lets just tweet anything.

  2. I agree with Madeline, social media marketing should really be changed to socially responsible online optimization. You shouldn’t be marketing through social media, you should be engaging your audience and customers, use it to talk to them directly, listen, change, grow, learn etc. It isn’t a platform for you to just send out more coupons!

    Also, I heard that CNN was airing double the commercials during the hurricane coverage – hope that backfires too.

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