Thursday, September 12, 2013

A moment of silence

Twelve years is a long time. But when you're dealing with an event where thousands lost their lives and was the impetus for a war that cost thousands more, it might as well be twelve seconds.

Like the attack on Pearl Harbor or the Battle of Gettysburg, the Twin Towers falling is a permanent marker in the history of our nation. The last thing anyone needs is an advertiser telling us to "never forget."

As if we ever could.

364 days a year the mantra "Do good and take credit" make sense in PR. Help out veterans, donate to first responders groups, give to the food bank, build affordable housing, then promote your largesse to build goodwill.

On 9/11 do something because it's the right thing to do and if people find out, they'll give you credit. Self serving promotion on this day that has so many emotions attached to it by everyone in the nation has very little upside and a whole lot of downside as AT&T and Tumbledown Trails found out.

Frankly, even though this "tribute" is beautifully shot, edited and scored, it's still an ad for beer no matter how loudly the folks at Budweiser say it's not.

Next year please, if you must commemorate 9/11, do so like most Americans, in a moment of self-reflective silence.

Thinly veiled attempts to connect with consumers through their grief is just a little more than I can take.


  1. Great piece, Harvey.

    I shared on LinkedIn.

  2. Hi Harvey,
    While I can agree that there is certainly some commercialization out there, I feel (as a consumer and a viewer) that the piece done by Budweiser is meant to portray that they too are part of the community paying tribute on this day.

    This was not a moment for them to sell beer, but rather a depiction that as a company they took a moment to stop what they were doing and remember. They showed us this movement through the use of their majestic and iconic Clydesdales which whether you drink beer or not, project an enormous sense of all things American; strength, resiliency, pride.

    Individuals share images as a way of showing their feelings on this day and with the intention that it will inspire others to feel as they do – I never got the sense that what Budweiser was doing was any different.

    This comment is not intended to engage in further dialog or deeper discussion - I just thought I would share my personal perspective.


    1. Karole,

      Thanks for your comment I appreciate your thoughts and perspective. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.