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#NeverForget…To Promote Yourself?

Using current events to promote a brand can be a clever, effective tactic. But not all events are created equal. And some — like 9/11 — should give advertisers pause.

This past 9/11, brands all over the country let their voices be heard. Some gave a nod with the trending hashtag, “#NeverForget.” Others went further (a lot further) and offered discounts in denominations of nine and eleven, like this yoga studio.

Overall, the backlash indicates that most Americans find this behavior to be somewhere between tasteless and downright offensive.


As Sean Bonner says, brands aren’t people. And when they’re inserted into human conversations about human suffering, they come off exactly as they are — attempts to profit from the grief of others in the thin guise of patriotism.

And at the end of the day — especially that particular day — we humans who promote brands should know better.