I recently covered how Wendy’s is killing it in the social sphere by making sassy comments and ridiculous bets. For Wendy’s, and for any business’s communication strategy, the most important word is context. I can think of no better example for this than the now-infamous DiGiorno joke about domestic violence.
Now, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that DiGiorno doesn’t actually support domestic abuse. Odds are the social media person saw a trending hashtag and used it before learning the context around it. Try telling that to the people on twitter, though- they weren’t very apologetic.
Chase’s faux pas was significantly more subtle, but the cause was the same.
.@Chase: why aren’t customers saving money?— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) April 29, 2019
Taxpayers: we lost our jobs/homes/savings but gave you a $25b bailout
Workers: employers don’t pay living wages
Economists: rising costs + stagnant wages = 0 savings
Chase: guess we’ll never know
What could have possibly gone wrong? Anyone that’s been on Facebook for longer than an hour and a half have scrolled past at least a few memes about being poor with expensive tastes. Millennials connect with memes that share are equal parts absurd, universal, and self-deprecating, so why wasn’t this a hit?
Getting mocked for having no money and making poor life choices? Relatable.
Getting mocked for having no money by a financial institution with a dubious history? Not quite as funny. A little bit of foresight would have gone a long way, but Chase didn’t consider the way their tweet would be perceived.
Enter Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren, the totally possibly maybe Native American Congresswoman from Massachussetts that has made a point of looking for low-hanging fruit that will win her favor with a young voter base. While Chase’s tweet may have been a bit offensive to some before quickly fading from public view, Warren re-tweeted the parody with a very harsh stance. Once the snowball began rolling, it wasn’t going to be stopping anytime soon; soon there were plenty of people hating on Chase.
Chase has made the news again recently for changing their terms of service to include a forced arbitration clause that has not gone over well with many of their customers. Though still a very popular bank with a growing customer base, it is only a matter of time until the actions of Chase catches up with them.
About the Author
Baylen McCarthy is a marketing consultant and travel blogger based in Hampton Roads, Virginia. His work includes web design, search engine optimization, and digital advertising services, among other marketing solutions. If you’re interested in getting in touch with Baylen, shoot him an email or leave him a message.