Yesterday, Oreo honored the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 by posting a a blank photo branded with an Oreo cookie and the phrase “Moment of Silence” in the lower right corner to their Facebook page and Twitter feed. Meanwhile, the Today show sparked controversy by chatting with Kris Jenner about her breast implants instead of observing a moment of silence at 8:48–the time when the first plane hit the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11th. It’s hard to top Today’s insensitivity (NBC asserts that they won’t apologize, because “it is not a tradition” for their show), but by using a national tragedy as a marketing opportunity, Oreo comes pretty close.
As many Oreo fans have commented, the picture was one of their “daily twist” series of photos that the cookie company has been posting on social media to celebrate their 100th year in business. All are clever uses of Oreo cookies to commemorate events that correlate with each day–September 4th was “no white after Labor Day,” featuring an Oreo cookie minus the filling; another celebrated National Radio Day with a cookie and radio wave-shaped milk drops.
In that context, it seems more reasonable. But seeing the photo on twitter accompanied by side-by-side #neverforget and #dailytwist hashtags makes it hard not to cringe. As do some of the fan comments, which range from “I already forgot. Its been over a decade. We should move on.” to “Sadly, I expected a rendition of the world trade center made of OREOS….”. Ugh.
Would it kill the company to observe a moment of silence with a post or photo that doesn’t have Oreo branding all over it?