Marketing in times of Mourning
Two days ago I received an email from an association I am proudly a member of for 4 years, the Chartered Institute of Marketing(CIM). It was brief guidance on how to practice marketing during the period of national mourning in the UK due the Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's death. The brief said: "Planned marketing campaigns should be reviewed according to their content and audience throughout the ten-day period, as should sponsorship or participation in major events on the day of the State Funeral." This important event would not only affect the UK but also many other countries therefore it made me think of marketing in times of mourning.
When such events occur, the first professionals to be called up are marketing professionals. Companies want to express their condolences in an appropriate manner so they rush to the marketing and PR experts for their help. But it is worth noting the following according to the Drum: "Without fail, all of the experts we spoke to say that, unless your brand is one of the 800 or so with a royal warrant or well-recognized connection to The Queen, it is strongly advised to simply stay silent." Of course, there was no obligation to close offices or venues through the period of National Mourning, other than the state funeral. But marketers are strongly advised to act professionally and avoid inappropriate promotional marketing.
We all agree that there is a huge temptation to make a statement for brands, influencers, and celebrities during times of mourning. But it is a fine line between what is appropriate and what is not on such occasions. Therefore the choice of words, tone, colors, logos, and almost everything became so crucially important. Should the brands keep guidance for such occasions as they do in times of crisis? I strongly believe so. These things might happen on a global scale every day and if you are a global brand, then it might be useful to have a guide on how to communicate to avoid any embarrassment. We will wait and see how things develop especially for UK brands in the upcoming days.