Earlier this year, Chrysler made a bold statement to the world, airing the Imported From Detroit commercial during Super Bowl XLV in February 2011. The ad created buzz in the ad world, political circles, and the entertainment industry, while helping drive a 191% increase in month-over-month sales of the Chrysler 200, the car featured in the ad. Unless you hate America, it's hard not to feel proud of the United States and one of its core but beaten down industries after watching the full two-minute spot.
A month later, this tweet publishes one morning from Chrysler's official Twitter account:
Auto blog Jalopnik broke the story and here's what transpired in rapid succession:
- @ChryslerAuto tweets "Our apologies – our account was compromised earlier today. We are taking steps to resolve it."
- A post to the corporate blog clarifies that an agency was responsible for the tweet and the employee responsible for the action was terminated.
- News breaks that Chrysler fires their social agency of record.
The root cause here might have been technology failure, user error, lack of process (publishing) control, and/or temporary lapse of cultural connection.
Within the 48 hours, an iconic brand gets a black eye, an agency loses a major account, and a person gets fired: nothing good for those directly involved. So where's all the praise for failing fast?