This is Us & Crock-pot: Crisis Management


If you are one of the 12 million (yes, 12 mil!) devoted fans of “This Is Us,” then you know that what killed your beloved Jack (aka Milo Ventimiglia) was a Crock-Pot. Yep, a faulty Crock-Pot did him in, starting a fire that sent him to the other side. I couldn’t help but imagine Andrew Gilman, CEO of CommCore, which owns Crock-Pot, sitting in his TV room, watching with his wife, and throwing up after his hot-selling product became the Darth Vader of the best-loved series in years, with, yes, I’ll mention it again, 12 million viewers.

Twitter lit up with Crock-Pot hatred. Facebook showed sobbing mothers standing over their Crock-Pots, and then throwing them in the trash. News programs couldn’t help but mention it was the Crock-Pot that did him in. Note to self, thought Gilman, do more television advertising so they take better care of my brand.

Here is their quote:

“Until today, Crock-Pots were nothing more than hardworking kitchen appliances.”

It’s perfect. It makes the Pot the victim and doesn’t mention the beloved man who died saving the dog.

And it has a touch of humor. After all, it’s a fictional story on television, not something like the Tylenol tragedy where people died in real life because someone (who was never found) had tampered with the bottles.

Then their marketing team took to Twitter … after opening an account, because they didn’t have one. Note to self, number two: Always have a Twitter account in place, just in case. And Instagram. AND Facebook.

Here was their message:

“THIS IS US” SPOILER ALERT. We’re still trying to mend our heart after watching “This Is Us” on Tuesday night. America’s favorite dad and husband deserved a better exit and Crock-Pot® shares in your devastation. Don’t further add to this tragedy by throwing your Crock-Pot Slow Cooker away. It’s hard to pass something down from generation to generation if you throw it away (grandma won’t be too happy). Spending time with his family while enjoying comfort food from his Crock-Pot was one of his favorite things to do. Let’s all do our part and honor his legacy in the kitchen with Crock-Pot®.

XOXO, Crock-Pot® Forever in Your Heart & Forever in Your Home

That didn’t stop the hemorrhaging. So they continued:

Jack was one of our favorites too! Don’t worry, you can still make your favorite comfort foods in your #CROCKPOT with confidence. We want to assure you we rigorously test our products for safety. DM us and we’d be happy to tell you more about our safety standards.

I think we can all agree, that didn’t do it. Defensive. Too serious, as if it had been real.

Then they got smart:

#CrockPotIsInnocent

Before you start laughing, know that it could happen to you. Without warning. Managing social media messaging takes restraint, creativity, deference for the other point of view, and a touch of humor laced with humility.

Rest in peace, Jack, and know that no one blames you for risking your life to go in for the dog at the expense of the rest of your family’s life security to be the big d*&k you seemed to need to be. They blame the Crock-Pot, who has provided great food to millions of families for two generations with minimum danger to anyone.

Our recommendation to Crock-pot? Blue Shoe says send everyone on the set a new Crock-pot and send a photographer to shoot the delivery.

I’m sure you are glad it wasn’t you. Or your brand. Here are ways to be prepared should something like this happen to you.

1. Make sure you have a plan for your employees. Help them to know how to respond on their own pages, and when asked by others.

2. Have your social media in place.

3. Less is more. Trust us, less is more.

4. No defense. No one cares about the why. Ok, maybe your mother, but that’s it.

5. Short. As short as this sentence.

6. Don’t react. Restraint in a reasonable amount of time.

7. If the issue isn’t relevant to most of your peeps, don’t post to everyone. Post on the media speaking about it, not on your own pages.

8. If it is relevant to everyone, put it front row center on your social media.

9. No humor – ever – if someone got hurt.

10. When no one has mentioned it for one month, delete it off your social media.

And, that wraps up the saga around Crock-pot. By the way, it’s a good time to buy one. They are on sale everywhere.

© 2020 by Blue Shoe Strategy.