The world is united against COVID-19, and against BMW.
Marketing and social media teams face a struggle in the automotive industry. It's difficult to appeal to new and current buyers, not upset enthusiasts, and still maintain high levels of engagement with your readership. But for BMW, social media became a bit of a disaster a few days ago when a Tweet intended to punt the BMW i8 Ultimate Sophisto Edition made light of the current Coronavirus pandemic that's been sweeping the globe. On the BMW i official twitter account, the brand tweeted "Be a roadblock of the outbreak and make your own contribution to #FlattenTheCurve. The BMW i8 Coupe Ultimate Sophisto Edition. #BMWi #bornelectric #THEi8" accompanied by a picture of the send-off special edition model.
While at first it might seem BMW had done nothing wrong, Twitter quickly took exception to the fact that the tweet seems to encourage people going out to drive when just about the whole world is implementing lockdown measures at the moment. It was a severe oversight, and one that was quickly pointed out to the brand in the way only the internet can do. It took just 12 hours for BMW to issue an apology and a retraction.
The follow-up tweet apologized profusely, stating, "We are sorry. Our last tweet caused some irritation, and you were right in your criticism. Our main intention these days is to share optimistic and helpful content to brighten up your days. We are all in this together." before signing off with, "We can do better and we will." The original tweet was deleted as well, but not before it was screenshotted for all to see, proving once again that nothing on the internet is ever gone forever once you hit the delete button. Subsequent tweets have been made with the hashtag #FlattenTheCurve, partnered with videos urging people to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.