February 14, 2018
Did “This Is Us” help or hurt Crock-Pot?
Disclaimer: Spoilers included in this post!
After the popular NBC emotional drama “This Is Us” revealed the cause of the beloved father’s death in a highly-anticipated post-Super Bowl episode, many took to social media to voice their resentment of the brand that “killed Jack.” For those of you who haven’t followed the heart-breaking saga since 2016, the show has been hinting how the father, Jack, died through the show’s flashback storyline since episode one.
After the Super Bowl, “This Is Us” shocked fans with a gripping episode revealing that Jack ultimately died from an old slow cooker catching fire and burning down the family’s home. Fans immediately took to Twitter to grill Crock-Pot, even though the culprit was technically a nameless slow cooker. Fan’s tweets ranged from “me running to my kitchen to unplug my crockpot even though I haven’t used it in weeks. Thanks #ThisIsUs” to “Crock-Pot is about to go out of business over #ThisIsUs.” Mentioned in approximately 4,000 social media and traditional posts since January 1st, Crock-Pot’s brand recognition has shot through the roof. But these posts seem a tad farfetched and overdramatic, and some had a humorous tone. Even so, with the amplitude of posts, Crock-Pot seemed to be spiraling into a PR crisis. But just how serious is this crisis, and will it last?
There is no doubt the recent social media fury tarnished Crock-Pot’s brand with its stock dropping 24 percent after the initial shock of the long-awaited episode. In response, a spokesperson from Newell Brands, parent company of Crock-Pot, found itself scrambling to reassure users of the product’s safety, though no events or injuries had been reported. The statement assured fans that “for nearly 50 years with over 100 million Crock-Pots sold, we have never received any consumer complaints similar to the fictional events portrayed in last night’s episode. In fact, the safety and design of our product renders this type of event nearly impossible.”
However, since the initial firestorm, celebrities and top-tier publications such as The Washington Post, NBC, Time, Market Insider, and HuffPost have chimed in to defend the brand. Actor Milo Ventimiglia, who plays Jack, was featured on “Ellen” following game day to discuss the tragic episode, and stood by Crock-Pot, telling fans that it was in fact a slow cooker that was the cause of his character’s death and not a Crock-Pot. Elle published a video of Milo Ventimiglia responding to negative tweets from the post-Super Bowl episode defending Crock-Pot and setting the record straight. Many reporters and TV Hosts have interviewed cast members of “This Is Us” reporting that they love Crock-Pot and don’t hold the slow cooker responsible for the character’s death. Crock-Pot even tweeted a video of Milo Ventimiglia before the Super Bowl saying, “It’s time we all get along,” while taking a scoop of chili out of a Crock-Pot.
With a well thought out corporate response and increasingly positive media, things seem to be looking up for Crock-Pot. The slew of negative tweets following the episode have dramatically decreased; and many have even questioned how seriously fans were when tweeting about the beloved household appliance. Only time will tell if Crock-Pot will bounce back fully from the initial shock of fan’s outrage, but until then don’t forget to unplug your Crock-Pots and stay tuned on what’s happening on “This Is Us.”
LEVICK Fellow Alexandra Zeliff contributed to this post.