What was Chevrolet thinking?
The PR geniuses at the car company decided to kill its “Silverado Strong” promotional stunt that the General Motors unit had planned to run Monday evening at St. Louis’ Busch Stadium during Game 5 of the World Series.
The program had fans holding up individual placards to spell out the slogan for Chevy’s truck. E.g. think of a North Korea stadium celebration of its former “Dear Leader.” After a Busch Stadium rehearsal on Monday, the promo was shelved because it finally dawned on Chevy that some fans would be insulted.
You think? And they wouldn’t just be fans of the Boston Red Sox , which is playing the St. Louis Cardinals for the title.
Boston Strong became the rallying cry of Beantown following the April Boston Marathon terror attack, which killed three people and injured more than 250 others. The slogan was used to sell T-shirts to support the bombing victims and their families. The Red Sox put the Boston Strong logo on the field at Fenway Park, where it has been visible during the Series.
The crackerjack communications of Team Chevy was incredibly tone-deaf to PR and unbelievably insensitive to the people of Boston in even considering use of the Silverado Strong, which it adopted in July to hawk the latest models of truck, stunt.
The PR bigwigs at Major League Baseball also were in on the Silverado Strong fiasco. MLB’s batter and Chevy’s logos were supposed to bookend the Silverado placards.
Boston Magazine reported that Chevy’s killed the promo after a photo went viral online, drawing a ton of criticism.
That’s somewhat reassuring. Chevy, at least, pays attention to social media.
The Red Sox will clinch the Series tonight in Boston. One thing is certain: Fenway fans would never have participated in Chevy’s ill-advised promo. On second thought, they would have run the Chevy PR team out of town.