Cheerios recently tried to make the most of social media as a PR tool by doing what everyone else was already doing: designing Facebook apps to encourage its hundreds of thousands of fans to interact with the brand.
Unfortunately, that plan blew up in the face of parent company General Mills. Cheerios attempted to gain the invisible, invaluable thing we call “brand loyalty” by presenting fans with an app that allowed them to write about “what Cheerios means to me” in the cereal’s trademark font. But the brand’s social team quickly discovered that many Facebook users don’t approve of General Mills’s relationship with genetically modified foods—or its political advocacy on the subject.
The activists’ quick storming of the forum forced Cheerios to kill the app after just one day. Click through for the backstory.