November 4, 2014

Sometimes life throws you a wicked curve ball, or in the case of World Series’ sponsor Chevrolet, an extremely unfortunate moment that could wreak havoc on your brand and your image. Chevrolet spokesman, Rikk Wilde, offered a painfully awkward delivery of the World Series MVP trophy and prize to Giants’ ace pitcher, Madison Bumgarner, during the post-game celebration ceremony. He tripped over his words and struggled to even plainly describe the new Chevy truck Bumgarner just received. His phrase ‘technology and stuff’ was a trending hashtag in the days following the game earning just as much publicity as the game itself. There were several different ways Chevy could have reacted to their spokesman’s blunder. They could have fired Wilde and apologized profusely or even just ignored it hoping that it would all be forgotten in a week or two. But no, they acted swiftly and embraced it. They not only poked fun at themselves via social channels, but they've created a full-blown ad campaign. In Friday’s USA Today, Chevy ran a full page ad with the tag line ‘Technology… And Stuff.’ As the World Series celebrations die down and sport fans move on to the next game, Chevy continues to earn positive recognition for what could have tarnished their reputation. It raises the question if the blunder was intentional? Conspiracy theories aside, it’s a huge learning opportunity for brands and marketers – act swiftly and be willing to make lemonade with lemons… and stuff.

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