Crock-Pot Comes Under Fire for No Reason

Content Manager

Last week, fans of the popular NBC television show, “This Is Us” watched anxiously as Jack Pearson, played by actor Milo Ventimiglia, was about to meet his untimely end. For an entire season, fans theorized about how he would die – would it be a car accident? Would he be murdered?

Turns out, it was death by Crock-Pot. In the episode, a faulty knob turned the cooker on, igniting a nearby dishtowel and starting the kitchen on fire. In a special episode airing right after the Super Bowl, more details will be revealed about Jack’s death.

The backlash from upset fans erupted immediately, catching the show’s producers by surprise. Many threatened to throw out their Crock-Pots and slammed the brand on social media.

So how does a brand handle such backlash in a fictional situation such as this?  Exactly as Crock-Pot did. The company stood up and defended its product on Twitter and Facebook, touting its safety while also remaining sympathetic to the upset fans. I think overall the Crock-Pot did the best it could, given the delicate-yet-fictional circumstances.

If you find yourself in a “Crock-Pot-like” situation, here are a few tips:

  • Be proactive and get ahead of the backlash
  • Keep the dialog with customers open and honest
  • Remain sympathetic to their concerns
  • If the issue escalates with an individual customer, take it offline and speak to them directly

This was a situation beyond Crock-Pot’s control. As an avid fan of “This Is Us” myself, it never occurred to me to throw out my Crock-Pot based on a plot twist. I understand that viewers saw this as, “this could happen in our home.” Could it? Absolutely. But so could many other potentially harmful scenarios tied to products used in fictional series – although admittedly, not as tightly linked as Crock-Pot was here.

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