Cuthbert and the ‘Big Six’
As I write this, there’s been two huge stories that have dominated the media – one that has managed to turn potentially damaging legal action into a positive online campaign, and another that has been a complete and utter PR disaster.
These two cases provide perfect examples of how to manage your marketing strategy brilliantly in a very delicate situation – and how not to!
The way Aldi has turned its legal battle on its head, generating humour and masses of support through their social media channels, has been nothing short of genius. The #FreeCuthbert campaign has created a real talking point, not only tagging in rival supermarkets to point out the glaringly obvious (that each of them has their own version of M&S’s famous Colin the Caterpillar cake), but by ultimately asking them to all to ‘club together to raise money for charity, not lawyers’.
Hey @marksandspencer can Colin and Cuthbert be besties? We’re bringing back a limited edition Cuthbert and want to donate profits to cancer charities including your partners @macmillancancer & ours @teenagecancer. Let’s raise money for charity, not lawyers #caterpillarsforcancer.
— Aldi Stores UK (@AldiUK) April 20, 2021
By using this tongue-in-cheek tactic, Aldi has turned a potentially damaging situation into one that has given them a friendly public persona and seen their social media popularity skyrocket.
In direct contrast to this, the ‘big six’ English Premier League clubs that announced their involvement in the European Super League seemed to have no strategy at all in place to counter the furious backlash they faced. The outrage from supporters, pundits, officials and practically anyone involved in the sport was inevitable after such a controversial statement, yet no response was forthcoming. This ultimately contributed to all six of the clubs withdrawing quick sharp!
For every company, the way they interact with their customers, fans and stakeholders needs to be carefully planned and thought out, otherwise you’re more like to be a not-so Super League rather than a clever Cuthbert.