positive social media Halifax

Winning Week: The JC Penney “Hitler Kettle”

He’s a little kettle, short and stout.
Here is his handle, here is his… moustache?

Say what?

Yes, folks, apparently some drivers thought JC Penney was purposely promoting a “Hitler Kettle” on their recent billboard. I kid you not!

OK. Yeah… I see the resemblance. I mean… Hitler had only one arm and no eyes, after all.

The reason I’m including this episode in my Winning Week series on positive social media is that JC Penney didn’t miss the opportunity to have a little fun with this. They didn’t respond like most corporate entities would. They didn’t brush it off as the ridiculousness that it was. Here is a sample of their responses:

And they continued to answer many of the comments about the kettle with similar posts… changing the animal theme each time. There were a lot of posts, so just coming up with enough different answers is pretty awesome I think. Better than the standard cut and paste jobs we’re used to. Most companies would have ignored the hubub over something so silly. Or they would have responded with “It’s a kettle. Get over it.” The JC Penney social team took a ridiculous bit of negative PR and dealt with it like the pros they are. With patience, good humour and respect. I’m just a little sad their response didn’t get as many retweets as the original HuffPo article.

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