- Posted August 15, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The Day the Internet Said NO to Koch Industries
Koch Industries' Epic Social Media Mega-Fail (#WeAreKoch)
"How a social media complement to TV ads promoting Koch Industries' wholesome American image ended up focusing people on the company's ethical lapses and fringe politics--and left its trademark search page dominated by a picture of the gates to Auschwitz"
Previous social media fails like #McDStories may have left users with a bad taste in their mouth, but it is hard to imagine a bigger fail than Koch Industries’ efforts. To be fair, it’s challenging to whitewash a brand that many people associate with election shenanigans, but it is hard to imagine a worse social media fail.
In conjunction with the company’s national TV blitz, viewers were directed to the #WeAreKoch hashtag. However, a prankster registered the @WeAreKochs username for use as a parody, and unleashed a torrent of insulting and hysterical posts pointing out the company’s ethical lapses and fringe politics, concurrent with the TV media blitz. The posts struck a chord with users, who retweeted at a strong pace despite the account’s initial lack of following. By the end, critical posts dominated the timeline.
The Koch Brothers were served their just desserts by a grassroots community that their own ill-planned social media campaign helped organize. In addition, the most prolific tweeter was a parody account of unknown origin, allowing the Kochs to experience being challenged by a front group of unknown origin.
The Internet community told Koch Industries, and the Koch Brothers, that people power, and not money, is what wins in politics.
For more information, feel free to contact @WeAreKochs on twitter and refer to the previous accounts of the prank at: