News of actor Gene Wilder’s death hit the Internet yesterday. Since then, tributes to the “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” star have been pouring in from colleagues, fans and — inevitably — confectionary brands.
During his long career, Wilder was known for many films including the Oscar-nominated “Young Frankenstein” and “Blazing Saddles.” But sweet-toothed brands have been chiming in on Twitter to thank the star for his contributions to, you guessed it, the world of chocolate for his turn as Willy Wonka.
The 90-year-old chocolatier Godiva Chocolates shared a tribute on its U.K. account with its 17,200 followers.
Thank you Gene Wilder for making chocolate truly magical, the original Willy Wonka. pic.twitter.com/xLONa5sBrj
— Godiva Chocolates UK (@GodivaUK) August 29, 2016
A few hours later the Twitter account for U.K. candy brand New Berry Fruits chose “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” as its film of the day. Smaller brands like candy retailer McMillers Sweets have also chimed in. It RIP’d the actor as the “original Candyman“.
While the tweets have attracted only positive remarks so far, brands who choose to grieve celebrities publicly enter murky territory. There are big risks when it comes to summoning personal tragedy — particularly when your tribute mentions your product in the same breath.
Case in point: Crocs deleted its tribute to the late David Bowie (a shoe overlaid with the singer’s iconic lightning bolt) after Twitter users criticised it as opportunistic. Equally, Cheerios irked Prince fans with an RIP tweet that dotted the “I” with a single Cheerio.
Other messages for Wilder were more personal. DeBrand Fine Chocolates simply wrote that the actor was a childhood inspiration. While Dandelion Chocolate, a bean-to-bar factory in San Francisco, added that it showed Wilder’s 1971 classic every year.
Every holiday season we show a screening of “Willy Wonka”. RIP Gene Wilder. pic.twitter.com/IjhA8uP1ua
— Dandelion Chocolate (@DandelionChoco) August 29, 2016
While the actor is also known for his sarcastic meme, it seems chocolate makers are sharing tributes without any irony — be they good and bad.
Image: Paramount Pictures
Marketing Briefing: U.S. marketers prepare contingency plans amid potential TikTok ban
The likelihood of a ban is still up in the air, marketers and agency execs say, which is why some are simply taking a wait and see approach while others are preparing contingency plans.
In graphic detail: Gamers are warming up to in-game ads
Comscore questioned gamers about their attitudes toward advertisements in games for its State of Gaming report. Digiday got a sneak peek.
Meta, Snapchat, Twitter layoffs spell trouble for agency relationships
The speed and scale of platform layoffs only compound the problem of marketers feeling neglected by the social media giants.
SponsoredBrands are optimizing video production to drive user acquisition
Sponsored by QuickFrame by MNTN With brands increasingly investing in video ads on social media, marketers are enhancing their video production capabilities to unlock growth on Facebook and Instagram. Especially urgent in an uncertain economic climate, brands must minimize production costs while creating a high enough volume of social media videos to identify the creative […]
Lessons from marketers’ experience with generative AI
Enthralled as marketers clearly are with the possibilities of AI, they’re starting to think they might need a strategy for it.
WTF is a data clean room?
Platforms use data clean rooms in order to share aggregated audience data versus user-level data.