In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I went on a hunt to find brands who represent the pot ‘o gold at the end of the proverbial marketing rainbow. It’s no surprise that food bloggers and content curators have practically turned Pinterest green with festive treats.
However, I am most struck by the PR reverberations in New York City and Boston following each city banning gay and lesbian marchers from openly participating in the famous parades. This decision by parade organizers led to the heavy hitters of St. Patrick’s Day revelry to back out of sponsorships—Sam Adams led the charge in Boston, followed by Heineken and Guinness in Boston and New York cities respectively.
Doing what is right for corporate ethics and culture is not always the easy choice in PR and marketing, especially when ROI is already heavily scrutinized. Global brands like Guinness have to hedge their bets carefully, yet also have the tremendous responsibility of speaking up for what is fair because their brand muscle can quickly escalate a topic to receive national attention.
Will the withdrawal of such big sponsors change parade rules in 2015? Only time will tell. But it is refreshing to watch big brands follow through on promises and make a selfless statement.
Has a brand earned your loyalty following actions like those of Sam Adams, Guinness and Heineken?
~Alexis Anderson, watcher of brands who forgot to wear green this St. Patrick’s Day holiday.