Brands on Sandy: Right Way and Wrong Way

Brands often use big, newsworthy events as opportunities to insert themselves into the online buzz and social media conversations. With everyone glued to their computers keeping tabs on hurricane Sandy, it’s not surprising that some brands have decided to chime in.

Duracell was smart and acted quickly to get this targeted ad for its batteries urging people to “Stock up before the storm.” As Adland reported, the ad appeared alongside a weather.com story. Well done, Duracell.

On the other hand, there’s Barney’s New York and its attempt at Sandy fodder. The high-end department store used the impending arrival of the hurricane as the subject of its shopping newsletter today. The subject line was “A Guide to Staying Warm and Safe,” and the email contained items like fancy chocolates, a Barney’s umbrella, warm boots — you know, all of the essentials to keep you comfy while the city floods and people go to evacuation centers. Yup, I definitely need to stock up on some $40 chocolates to survive Frankenstorm. Come on, Barney’s, that’s just silly. Just send out a regular shopping newsletter. Don’t pretend that people would actually shop at Barney’s instead of, oh, I don’t know, the local grocery store, pharmacy and hardware store in preparation for a natural disaster.