Dave & Busted

In celebration of #TacoTuesday, Dave and Buster posted a very damaging tweet.

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This tweet was deleted 40 minutes after being posted. Twitter’s reaction was instant and angry. People accused Dave & Buster’s of being racist and criticized how a tweet like this could have been released in the first place. Dave & Buster’s posted an apology within an hour of the original post.

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Dave and Busters made a mistake. It deleted the post and apologized. However, is that enough to cover up this blunder?  Social media mistakes are permanent. An offensive tweet or photograph can be removed from a site, but it will never fully be erased from the internet. Screen shots of the tweet are already circulated. T-shirts and memes have already been made. With on tweet, Dave & Buster’s has solidified a place as one of many corporate social media offenders.Thankfully social media also has the attention span of a goldfish. Tomorrow the world will be focused on the next controversial Instagram photo or tweet.

While social media has exponentially expanded opportunities for companies to become

global corporations, it also opens up for wider audience. When using social media, Dave & Buster’s did not consider how this tweet could insult a large part of its audience. Dave & Buster’s used this joke as a ploy for taco Tuesday. With over 25,000 followers in a country known as a cultural melting pot, how did no one on its marketing team predict any backlash?

Maybe Dave & Buster’s was attempting to follow Urban Outfitters shock technique on social media. If you offended people, your point will be heard. Dave & Buster’s may have weighed the positive against the negative repercussions of this tweet. Social media can overflow with information, opinions, photos and tweets. A small tweet about #TacoTuesday could easily get lost between #transformationtuesday or a celebrity selfie. Dave & Buster’s very well could have accepted the negative reactions from this tweet in exchange for publicity. Monday, Dave & Buster’s was another establishment with food, a great happy hour and video games. Now everyone knows that Dave & Buster’s has the ability to be offensive and apparently has a taco tuesday special. Hopefully this is not the direction corporate social media is heading towards.

If our professors are correct, a majority of us will work in social media after graduation. Imagine this as your first assignment: Draft a tweet that is a manageable balance of controversy and comedy. Something that will attract attention to our site without sparking too much of a controversy.

If you instantly thought of the perfect joke that is under 140 characters, maybe you should apply to work for Dave & Buster’s.

References

Maskeroni, A. (2014, November 18). Dave & Buster’s Just Posted a Tweet It’s Going to Regret for a Long Time. Retrieved November 19, 2014, from http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/dave-busters-just-posted-tweet-its-going-regret-long-time-161510

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2 thoughts on “Dave & Busted

  1. I don’t find the comment that offensive, as there have been tweets that have been more controversial. However, due to their following it is good that Dave & Buster’s swiftly posted an apology. It showed that they are listening to their audience and were, hopefully, genuinely sorry for their mistake. There is a need to look at the audience they are marketing to, especially with jokes.

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  2. I just realized that we had essentially written the same blog post, and I agree that companies don’t take these social media posts seriously as they should. In my opinion, it seems like these marketers should address social media posts with the same attention as they do paper or stationary outdoor advertisements. The audience is just as big, if not bigger, on social media sites.

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