KLM – Social fail or win for the brand?

KLM - Social fail or win for the brand?
KLM’s ‘Adios Amigos’ world cup tweet to Mexico has gained much attention in the past day or so. Most negative but is there another side to the story?


The Dutch airlines tweet attempted a little bit of humour to show support for their home team but has now been quickly removed as the criticism has mounted.

Is another example of brands still not taking social media seriously?

While social requires a more casual and friendlier tone of voice it can not be left to the hands of young and inexperienced staff who don’t understand the implications of what they say and do on the brand.

It appears that KLM, like many brands, still do not have the same checks and balances in place for social media as they do for their other advertising and communications.
KLM - Social fail or win for the brand?KLM - Social fail or win for the brand?

While it was meant to be a bit of fun, many have pointed out that the tweet was insensitive and racist.

Based on the twitter responses and subsequent press, this feels like a bad move for an international airline that has negatively impacted their brand reputation.

However, despite most of the ‘twitterverse’ and traditional media being against KLM, I wonder how many of KLM’s true brand fans are still secretly laughing.

Perhaps, this was a deliberate attempt to get brand loyalists to feel even more patriotic towards the brand.

Michael Hughes
Partner and Strategy Director

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