Earlier this year, Ford ran into a bit of trouble. One of their ad agencies in India decided to have some (unauthorized) fun. I can’t actually place the images they ended up producing because I think it might break some Algonquin College guidelines or offend those with good taste. Suffice it to say that these ads were somewhat violent and needlessly sexist.
You might imagine that those ads would have sunk Ford in terms of bad PR. The thing was, Ford’s media managers were on the ball. Within moments of the ad coming to light, their guys were out their explain the situation. Those ads were mock ups were never authorized or even shown to Ford.
Once that info came to light, the years of good will that Ford had cultivated on line came to the fore front. Defenders of Ford came out of the woodwork to suppress that story and stop the damage from spreading.
Meanwhile, Durex condoms found that not putting enough thought into their campaign can lead to some terrible outcomes. Their idea was to have people tell them what city needed condoms the most to have Durex ship them. Internet pranksters knew an opportunity when they saw one. They flooded the Facebook poll to place Batman, Turkey at the top of the list. For those who don’t know Batman is in the most conservative part of Turkey. They weren’t amused to find out they won.
So Ford saved themselves a PR nightmare by always being out their an interacting with their audience. They were up front with the media and explained everything. They had grown their fantasy for years by interacting positively with them so that when disaster struck, their base came to their aid.
Durex, meanwhile, couldn’t see that their campaign could lead to some very embarrassing results. Since they didn’t examine the premise of the plan hard enough, their campaign got blown over by trolls.