Shrimp
social strategy

Here’s How to Avoid the Next Shrimp Toast Crunch Debacle

What General Mills strategy should have been.

· less than 3 min read

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Enough ink has been spilled on how gross Cinnamon Toast Shrimp was and how awkward the brand’s response was, but here at Marketing Brew, we wanted to know what General Mills’s strategy should have been.

What went down

Reminder: After the initial post, Cinnamon Toast Crunch sent a tweet that will likely be studied for years, claiming that the objects in question weren’t shrimp tails, but “an accumulation” of sugar. Sure.

The next day, the brand started playing the blame game, tweeting that the incident didn’t happen at its facility. But by then, General Mills’s credibility had been shot.

Crisis crunch

We don’t know who’s behind those tweets, and General Mills didn’t respond to our request for an interview. But we asked two crisis communications experts to share how the brand could’ve handled the debacle.

  • “What happened to ‘The customer is always right’? Absolutely the wrong move to question what he’s seeing,” said Mark Pasetsky, founder of PR firm Mark Allen & Co.
  • Eric Dezenhall, CEO of Dezenhall Resources, said the brand should’ve done “as little as possible” on social, taking its response offline instead. "You can’t win, you can only lose by less,” he said.

What’s next? “I’m a believer in admitting you’re wrong,” said Pasetsky, who pitched free cereal for life as a make-good. Last night the brand tweeted a thank you to the aggrieved customer, but not an apology for whatever happened to his cereal.

Get marketing news you'll actually want to read

Marketing Brew informs marketing pros of the latest on brand strategy, social media, and ad tech via our weekday newsletter, virtual events, marketing conferences, and digital guides.