The double edged sword of Digital Marketing

Earlier this week there has been a storm of controversy regarding Bible Society’s ‘Keeping it Light’ video which shows Tim Wilson, the Liberal MP and former human rights commissioner and Andrew Hastie having an easy going conversation about gay marriage with a few Coopers beers.

This video has resulted in mass hysteria with a bunch of bars and pubs down in Melbourne and Sydney boycotting Coopers, because they seem to think Coopers is responsible for publishing the video and consequently standing on a stance of traditional marriage.

Now because of the misinformed public, it has caused the very same advantages of digital marketing to become disadvantages for Coopers. Lets have a look…

  1. Due to no geographical boundaries, news of Coopers have sure enough already spread across the world. The worst thing  is is that most people will not do their own research and uncover the truth behind the video, drawing their own half empty conclusions.
  2. Consumers trust and confidence in Coopers have deteriorated. I mean, I get where customers are coming from, I would definitely not support a brand that openly admits they are against gay marriage, BUT this is not what the video was even close to portraying. It was an open welcoming discussion, without ‘name calling’, about both sides of the debate. It told the public that you can in fact disagree without getting into heated arguments, which ironically is now what is happening to Coopers.
  3. Easy come easy go. As fast as you can gain followers and customers within a click, so can you lose them. I wonder how many consumers proceeded to unsubscribe off mailing lists , unfollow on Instagram and unlike their Facebook page in the midst of swearing off Coopers in retaliation of the video.

Now I know what your thinking, Coopers can fix this by stating they had nothing to do with Bible Society’s video, which was their next course of action. Cooper Beers stated in their apology statement that they did not give permission for Bible Society to release the video while sponsoring its beers and that they do in fact support gay marriage, however it was too late as the damage had already been done.

The statement released by Coopers. Picture: Facebook

I can guarantee you now that when Coopers Beers is brought up “Keeping it Light” will be swung into conversation, and that will be the go-to topic of conversation. It will bring negative associations with the brand and will continue to linger among those who are not well informed. Brand managers at Coopers Beer will now have to find an effective solution to clean this negative perception, whether it be with advertisement campaigns, personal relationship meetings or promotions. I personally would find this a very daunting task as it will not be easy, especially due to the very ‘heavy’ and sensitive topic about gay marriage.

Let me know in the comments below what you think Coopers could do to improve its future credibility and gain its trust back with customers? Or if they can at all…


4 thoughts on “The double edged sword of Digital Marketing

  1. A very topical issue! I do wonder though how many of the consumers who participated in the boycott/backlash against Coopers were regular Coopers customers to begin with – it seems very difficult to measure the true impact of this uproar, and how long it might last. Is social media always an accurate indicator of actual customer sentiment?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those are some good points…
      It does seem that consumers who hold negative views/experiences are more likely to vent their frustrations on social media, so in that aspect it is bias in that way. Additionally those boycotting Coopers may not have even really supported them in the first place. So in proportion to the people supporting Coopers still, even after the video, it could still have little effect on their future operations. I guess the only way to accurately measure the effects of the boycott is time itself!


  2. Love the idea about lack of consumer insight leading to unfair negative press to a brand, how would you respond to this if you were a lead marketer for Coopers?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not sure about the specifics, but in addition to their apology statement and reinforcing they support gay marriage.. I would opt to reinforce or even create positive associations with the brand. Highlight in some way that Coopers is not a brand to be viewed in a negative light…but again who knows the impact this will have on Coopers down the track. So maybe they won’t have to do much but wait it out !


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