19 Mar When Burger King royally ‘burgered’ up…
Companies around the world took to social media on 8th March to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD). Some put the spotlight on inspirational women throughout history, and others shared motivational messages.
Critics might say brands simply share empty messages about female empowerment alongside images of their female employees on social media to show they are ‘doing the right thing’. And many companies have gone down in history for completely missing the mark on awareness days like International Women’s Day.
In 2018, McDonalds received a torrent of Twitter backlash in the US after flipping its ‘M’ sign upside down on IWD. Social media users took the opportunity to claim how the brand mistreats its female employees, with no sick pay, no maternity leave or health coverage. But this year, Burger King had a whopper of a twitter blunder!
Royally ‘burgered’ up
The fast-food chain tweeted “Women belong in the kitchen” on International Women’s Day. Unfortunately for Burger King, twitter users did not look past the first tweet to see the original tweet was actually a teaser for the launch of the chain’s scholarship campaign to close the gender gap in the restaurant industry.
The tweet was eventually removed, and Burger King released an apology, saying “We hear you. We got our tweet wrong and we’re sorry. Our aim was to draw attention to the fact that only 20% of professional chefs in UK kitchens are women and to help change that by awarding culinary scholarships. We will do better next time.” But by that point, the damage was already done.
Burger King PR: Hey, I heard that all engagement is good engagement… pic.twitter.com/4cdfYN0cTs
— Andy Powell (@p0welly) March 8, 2021
Knowing when to take risks
Social media is a powerful platform which can help you get your brand personality across and build engagement with consumers. Understandably, companies are trying to stand out on social media and stay relevant with gimmicks and risky moves. But not all publicity is good publicity! And never has that been truer than in Burger King’s case…
If you’re looking for an example of social media mastery, head to Weetabix’s Twitter and read the thread to see how other companies joined in on the fun!
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