Music lovers everywhere are mourning the untimely passing of Prince, who was found dead in his Minnesota home yesterday at the age of 57. And as per usual, the Wall Street Journal points out, brands are having trouble resisting the urge to jump into the conversation on social media.
Cheerios tweeted a graphic in Prince's signature purple color that read "Rest in peace" with a Cheerio dotting the "i"; it's since been deleted, but the internet never forgets:
While some thought it was a thoughtful tribute from the Minnesota-based brand, others found it tasteless and tacky:
@cheerios who made vulgar PR of the cheerio placement with respect to passing if Prince ? Idiot move— dsw (@debshead) April 22, 2016
There is a fine line between heartfelt tributes and self-promotion. If you don't understand it, don't do it. https://t.co/HbeeZFE64m— Anita Lai (@itgirlnewyork) April 22, 2016
A General Mills rep said in a statement, "As a Minnesota brand, Cheerios wanted to acknowledge the loss of a musical legend in our hometown. But we quickly decided that we didn’t want the tweet to be misinterpreted, and removed it out of respect for Prince and those mourning."
Another General Mills brand, Hamburger Helper, chimed in with its own tweet that's also since been deleted:
Corporations are people too (no, really), and it's understandable that many want to offer their own messages of condolences when tragedies occur. But by slapping their logos onto these kinds of memorials, it looks at best like a desperate attempt to stay relevant.