Actress Reese Witherspoon’s fashion line, Draper James’ marketers thought they had a great idea. The brand wanted to support teachers–who have been challenged with delivering education in a whole new format. So they decided to give teachers a free dress.
“On Thursday, April 2, Draper James announced the offer on its Instagram page, writing: “Dear Teachers: We want to say thank you. During quarantine, we see you working harder than ever to educate our children. To show our gratitude, Draper James would like to give teachers a free dress.” They were instructed to apply by a form, given a deadline, and told when “winners” would be notified — as well as that it was valid “while supplies last.”” [quote from New York Times article.]
At first, of course it got the brand a lot of great publicity (for example, both the “Today Show” and “Good Morning America” promoted it). Unfortunately, they only had 250 dresses and when 10s of thousands of teachers applied, it meant that many ended up disappointed. A promotion that started with the best of intentions came across as an example of “Celebrity #Covidwashing,” making the Draper James and Reese Witherspoon brands look bad. Read the whole story at “Reese Witherspoon’s Fashion Line Offered Free Dresses to Teachers. They Didn’t Mean Every Teacher.”