I love Nutella. I fell in love with it while studying abroad in Greece and I remember it being one of the few foods that reminded me of home. Trust me, after a month of greek salads, hummus and pita you WILL get tired of it, no matter how much you love it. And Nutella with bagel chips became a great comfort food for me.
So I completely understand a fan of Nutella creating a day specifically to celebrate it. www.NutellaDay.com does just that. And this can be a PR dream: fans rallying around a product enough to spend EVEN MORE MONEY and write even more good stories, recipes and goodwill to celebrate it.
But this week saw that PR dream turn into a potential nightmare for Ferrero, the parent company. According to this AdWeek article, the company sent the fan a cease and desist letter to stop participating in and organizing Nutella day “as a routine procedure in defense of trademarks.” This of course caused a reaction from the social/PR/marketing world with a collective head scratch: “what company wants to threaten their most loyal fans?”
Luckily, the legal drama is over and the company has retracted the letter and now thank the fans for their loyalty.
I understand both sides. I understand protecting the brand and the trademark, but I also am surprised a company would go this far for something that “seemingly” is all positive and a PR goldmine. How many companies/services/products dream of this type of fan loyalty? Either way it’s an interesting case for the marketing world this week. Isn’t that what we pay billions of dollars for in advertising each year?
It has also inspired me to think of my own special day for a few of my favorite things. So happy chocolate milk / sushi / vanilla latte / guacamole day!! Obviously not all at the same time 🙂