🥄Digital Brand Bites: Newsletter Edition – 22nd April

A bitesize deconstruction of social media content from big brands. 

📅Newsletter edition – Thursday 22nd April.

🐛Aldi, a discount supermarket chain, has been threatened with legal action by Marks and Spencer for its not-so-subtle copy of the iconic Colin The Caterpillar cake.

🐛Aldi laughed off the lawsuit by using a “#FreeCuthbert” hashtag and lots of hilarious memes. Some of the cheeky comebacks were: “Marks & Snitches”, “This is not just any court case, this …#FreeCuthbert” and “Cuthbert has been found GUILTY… ..of being delicious. #FreeCuthbert.” Aldi also tweeted a hilarious amateur drawing of Cuthbert in court.

🐛Aldi is now trying to convince M&S and other supermarkets that sell caterpillar cakes to unite: “Let’s raise money for charity, not lawyers #caterpillarsforcancer.” Some found it wonderful, others found it cringeworthy. 

 🤔A PR stunt by all involved?

💄Benefit beauty brand, recently reversed a ban on serving NHS workers to beauty treatments like threading eyebrows. A nurse claimed NHS workers were being turned away from appointments “on the basis that [they] work with Covid patients”.

💄People were furious. Sentiment can be summed up by the following comment – an NHS doctor said: “A reminder that NHS staff will treat anyone, any time, 24/7, 365. Just saying, Benefit.”


💄After the backlash, Benefit changed its policy. A great example of a brand turning a volatile situation into one that has listened and taken action.

🖤Starbucks, an American multinational coffeehouse chain, posted this bold statement after the Derek Chauvin verdict. It states that a lot more work needs to be done to address systematic racism.

🖤It didn’t go down well. Sentiment can be summed up by these comments: “I don’t like companies that get political. It’s a major turn off”, “Want a piece of advice? Stick to coffee” and “How about Asians? They are being bullied as well.”

🖤#ThrowbackThursday to when Starbucks publicly supported the #BLM movement in 2020 but privately told its employers that they couldn’t wear clothing or accessories to support it as it violated the company’s dress-code policy. After serious backlash, Starbucks made a u-turn and designed and distributed 250k t-shirts that featured protest picket signs, including one that says “Black Lives Matter”.

🏈Las Vegas Raiders, American football team, owner took responsibility for the above tweet which gained so much negative attention.

🏈He told the Review-Journal, “I was driving home from a meeting (Tuesday) when the verdict came in. Soon after, I was listening to George Floyd’s brother, Philonise, speak. And he said, ‘Today, we are able to breathe again.’ I took my lead from him. In my mind, that was all I needed to say — ‘I can breathe.’

 🏈It went viral with lots of baffled and angry users urging the brand to delete the ‘distasteful’ post. Sentiment can be summed up by this users reply to the original tweet (which gained 43k+ likes) “Communications department approved this. PR department approved this. Digital team approved this. Legal, too, probably. Unreal.”

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