1 Simple Rule for Advertising on 9/11

It's easy.
More

Don't do it. That's the rule. So simple.

Don't offer a $9.11 golf special.

Don't tweet a picture of your product framing the ghostly lights of Ground Zero.

 

AT&T September 11 Marketing Campaign

Don't offer free coffee and mini muffins for 30 minutes.

Advertising is hard. This is easy. Don't use a national tragedy as a news peg for your product or service. "Sorry for the deaths of 3,000 people, please give us money for something unrelated" is the polar opposite of clever adjacency. It is always offensive, and it never works. This is not a winnable challenge for copy writers.

On a day when most Americans are enveloped by visuals and memories of a horrible, horrible day, companies would be well-advised to adhere to the converse of "never forget." Please, marketing departments of America: Stop trying so hard to make us remember.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Death of Film: After Hollywood Goes Digital, What Happens to Movies?

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In