Digital Marketing Strategy

Twitter rallies to support HBO Max intern after email gaffe, smartphone is essential tool for low income Americans, and airlines seek government help on messaging

Also: Wingstop offers thighs amid chicken wing shortage, Target unveils sustainability program, and Subway catches criticism over tuna-less sandwich topping.

Hello, communicators:

While pandemic-related supply chain issues have affected many brands and industries, a widespread chicken wing shortage exacerbated by sever winter storms in the chicken-producing regions of Texas has forced fast food chain Wingstop to get creative with its messaging as it offers chicken thighs to customers for the first time.

Wingstop has launched Thighstop, a temporary online service that will deliver chicken thighs to customers at more than 1,400 locations nationwide. The thighs can be ordered in sauces for all Wingstop’s 11 signature flavors.

“We think they’ll appeal to guests because they’re a different part of the chicken and therefore a new way to experience Wingstop flavor,” CEO and chairman of Wingstop restaurants Charlie Morrison, told USA TODAY. “They eat like a wing, but with more meat.”

Rapper Rick Ross, who owns several Wingstop franchises, lent his talents to the announcement:

Introducing The Biggest Thigh Boss, Rick Ross 🔥

— Wingstop 🍗 (@wingstop) June 21, 2021

Wingstop, meanwhile, has leaned on its dedicated online fanbase to support the move. In one instance, a customer clapped back at the Hooters brand Twitter account for mocking Wingstop’s decision to sell thighs. Wingstop stepped up, amping up the Twitter spat and responding in the brand’s typically saucy voice:

beef? squashed this before they could even attempt to lay an egg…

— Wingstop 🍗 (@wingstop) June 22, 2021

Thighstop succeeds at turning what could have become a devastating loss for a brand with a core product in low supply into a well-received PR effort. Take note that developing a strong brand voice, along with building strategic with influencers and brand ambassadors, creates a backstop of brand loyalty and goodwill that can be relied upon in a crisis hits.

HBO Max transparency leads to viral support for chagrined intern
HBO Max has outed the culprit of a recent test email that went out to thousands of subscribers: an intern who made a rather public error.  In the same post that identified the intern, HBO Max also said they were helping the young employee learn from their mistake:

We mistakenly sent out an empty test email to a portion of our HBO Max mailing list this evening. We apologize for the inconvenience, and as the jokes pile in, yes, it was the intern. No, really. And we’re helping them through it. ❤️

— HBOMaxHelp (@HBOMaxHelp) June 18, 2021

HBO Max’s admission only further endeared the intern to online audiences as hundreds of social media users shared responses beginning with “Dear Intern” about their own past embarrassing moments at work:



Dear intern,

I once globally took down Spotify. It almost happened twice. My team was awesome about it and I'm still here. You managed to find something broken in the way integration tests are done. It's a good thing and will help improve things. Good luck

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