Photo Credit: nydailynews.com
It’s September 11th now as I write this. It’s a somber day where many of us attend memorials, are thankful for the relative safety we live in, and of course, reflect back to where we was and what we were doing that fateful morning. (This particular year, it’s time for me to write up my, strangely non-political this week, Ass Hat of the Week.)
Miracle Mattress in San Antonio, TX went a different route, they tried to use the day as an excuse to have a mattress sale. Now check out this YouTube news outlet’s account: (I linked it here, because videos do not seem to want to work on my blog right now)!
What you saw, if you clicked that link, was an epitome of the godawful, low budget, local commercials we all see on our hometown stations. It was also a very ill-thought out attempt at symbolism, and using a horrific event just to sell some mattresses.
Yes, that was an ad for a “twin towers” sale where every size mattress was the price of a twin. Yes, that was two men crashing into two stacks of mattresses meant to represent the Twin Towers. And if that symbolism wasn’t enough, the woman added “We will never forget” to the end.
NY Daily News Article:
Now, I understand (and can sometimes agree) that there is a portion f our society that is too easily offended. Any action or speech sends them into a downward spiral of negativity about well intentioned jabs. This isn’t one of those times!
There have been a handful of tasteless commercials that have singled out groups and offended folks in the past, but I can’t recall one, on any level, that tried to capitalize on a National Tragedy.
I’m racking my brain to figure out how the concept for that ad even made it out of the first production meeting?
Boss: “The Anniversary of 9/11 is coming up, what can we do to work it into our commercial advertising?”
Good Employee: “Let’s do something tasteful and properly commemorate the event.”
Boss: “Sounds good, that works every year, anyone got anything else?”
Ass Hat Employee: “I know, let’s try to equate mattress sizes to the World Trade Center, show it somehow being knocked down, then make a half-assed attempt to be somber at the end.”
Boss: “I love it, run with that!”
Seriously! How? I can’t explain it. When common sense fails, it fails big I guess in Texas (sorry Texas fans).
The owner, a man named Steve Bonnano, has issued repeated apologies and even closed the store through the Sunday of 9/11. It remains to be seen if the business will recover from this PR fiasco. (Fortunately for consumers, there’s two or three mattress stores within a 1 block radius nowadays).
What is the bigger lesson of all this. If you run a business, or even just a local group, and you plan on relating an event, holiday, occurrence, or group in your message, you might want to run it by a third party for an opinion before getting fully behind the idea!
PS: Turns out there’s a mattress store in Canada called Mattress Miracle (the exact opposite) that has been catching some of the fallout of the San Antonio stores poor decision making skills. They serve as a reminder to people to stop and breathe a second before firing off a knee-jerk response to something. They are not connected, related, nor even part of the same company, they just have similar names. Hopefully they are not too affected by this.