Feb. 3, 2011 at 4:52 PM ET
American fashion designer and questionable copywriter for his company's ad campaigns, Kenneth Cole Thursday posted on Twitter a tweet so ill-fitting, those unfamiliar with his pun-o-licious billboards might think it was a hack:
Alas, Cole did it — exploited both the deadly riot in Egypt and the Twitter hashtag #Cairo used for discussing the situation in Egypt (where, yes KC, people are dying) to promote his new spring line.
Good luck getting this classic and comfortable loafer that pairs just as well with a business meeting as with casual Fridays out of your pie-hole, Cole. Because, Boy Howdy! The Internet is pissed.
Perhaps it's because he said it on Twitter and not a billboard. Past obnoxious and explotive Kenneth Cole-penned ad campaigns, as recalled by Gawker as long ago as 2006, were never the targets of huge public outcry:
"GOD DRESS AMERICA."
That was the line on a billboard Cole placed soon after 9/11/01. His rep responded to criticism in Adweek by saying Cole felt it was time for "humor."
Ow. Kenny. My. Sides.
A second post-9/11 print ad read:
"On Sept. 12th, families returned to the dining room table.
TODAY IS NOT A DRESS REHEARSAL."
The visual was a hot women dressed in a hot little Cole dress laying on her dining room table eating strawberries.
Post Katrina, Cole unveiled this gem of a billboard:
"Hurricanes aren't ending. And bird flu is now coming.
One more billboard: "The ports are secure. But there are other things DUBAI."
I know, right?!
This time, however, Cole isn't simply forcing his "Aw, Dad!" jokies via billboards. He did an ad industry no-no of hijacking a hashtag —one belonging to a gravely serious topic. Thanks to Twitter, perhaps Cole is now getting the feedback on his ad work he inexplicably never got before — well, at least in such volume, anyway.
Infamous advertising blogger Copy Ranter summed up the zeitgeist with a post republishing the tweets, headlined simply "Kenneth Cole is an a …" Well, you get the picture.
Some say the best kind of justice is Internet justice. Others might point out that Internet justice can be a bit — overzealous. One thing's for sure however, Internet justice sure is fast … and often hilarious. While #KennethColeTweets hasn't reached top Twitter trends at the time of this posting, expect to see it up there soon.
Sometime between Cole's offending tweet and (to be fair) its follow-up apology, the game began. Like the @BPGlobalPR before it, the faux Twitter account @KennethColePR kicked #KennethColeTweets into high gear, with these gems:
This may be the most fun the Internet's had at a public personality's political gaffe since Pete Hoekstra is a Meme. Like last month's #LessAmbitiousMovies hashtag game, the #KennethColeTweets is bringing out the wit:
Let the games begin.
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