JetBlue is getting lambasted today for this Jason Collins-related tweet:
Critics are saying that JetBlue is using a milestone for the gay rights movement as a marketing opportunity.
JetBlue has supported the gay community for a while now. And brands that support gay rights are becoming more vocal (and gaining publicity for it) generally.
But the company’s apparent lack of connection with Jason Collins is causing even gay rights advocates to think twice.
That’s the irony: being gay is now so non-controversial among consumers that brands risk being seen as jumping on the gay bandwagon (even if they’ve been on it for a while now).
“Torn between applauding this sentiment and seeing it as a cheap marketing ploy,” said one Facebook commenter.
“I guess I just don’t understand what JetBlue has to do with this story,” wrote another.
Absolut Vodka also lauded Collins’ decision to come out publicly, but avoided tying its unrelated brand so closely to the NBA star. Absolut, again, has long spent money in gay media and staged gay friendly promo events.
Negative impressions are relatively high
Among consumers, a majority in social media appear to be on Collins’ side.The Twitter sentiment analysis site Tweetfeel shows that about only about one third of tweets regarding Collins are negative. Everyone else supports him.