Chevy canceled a publicity stunt planned for Monday’s World Series matchup between the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals after the company realized it could backfire in a big way.
The “televised card stunt,” originally planned to take place at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, called for fans to hold up hundreds of colored cards to spell the words “Silverado Strong.”
This is why the stunt came under fire.
See, “Silverado Strong” may be part of a Chevy ad campaign launched in July, but its resemblance to “Boston Strong,” the motto adopted by Boston following the April 15 marathon bombings that left three dead and hundreds injured, forced Chevy to back away from the planned stunt.
The company was apparently worried that some would see the promotion as a shameless play on Boston’s emotionally charged and very personal slogan, Yahoo! Sports notes.
Chevy and Major League Baseball ultimately decided to scrap the promotion and asked fans to return the cards that had been taped under stadium seats.
“Earlier this year Chevrolet launched the all-new 2014 Silverado. The launch is supported by the campaign, ‘Strong,’ which celebrates the strength of hardworking, honest and dependable men and women,” Chevy spokesman Michael Albano said in a statement after the company decided to drop the stunt. “Chevy has carried this theme throughout the 2013 MLB Playoffs and the World Series.”
"However, following today’s rehearsal we realized there was the possibility that we may offend some of the very fans we were trying to honor, for that reason Chevrolet and MLB decided to cancel the promotion," the statement said.
But even with this explanation, some are still unimpressed with auto manufacturer.
“It's bad enough that Chevy would crassly and ham-fistedly try to profit from domestic terrorism with a marketing campaign, even if it might have been in the works before the bombings happened (and that's giving Chevy benefit of the doubt),” Yahoo! Sports’ David Brown wrote.
“And some of the meaning behind ‘Boston Strong’ has become fatigued. Even some of the Red Sox players have riffed on the phrase, making workout T-shirts with a little weightlifting guy that say ‘Boston Strong’ on them. Cute, but using it that way is not really appropriate, either,” he added. “But to encourage fans to help spell out any kind of ‘Strong’ phrase, with all of its connotations and relationships to Boston, simply shows a shocking lack of judgment and tone deafness. And all for a crummy commercial!”
Of course, not everyone is upset with Chevy.
Chevy was just doing something "the American way,” Boston fan James Bowers told Yahoo! Sports.
"Bringing it up and keeping it front of the American people, it can make everyone realize we're in it together," Bowers said. "And if you don't think we're at war, frickin' wake up."
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