After this anxiety-inducing week of counting votes, Americans received the news on Saturday that Joe Biden won the election and was named president elect, after receiving the most votes of any candidate in history, while Kamala Harris made history as the first woman and woman of color to become vice president. President Trump, meanwhile, still claims to have actually won the election and has several lawsuits against states where he believes voting fraud was committed.
With such a contested and close election in many states, major brands like Walgreens, Netflix and Kellogg lowered their ad spending this past week to stay out of the national conversation. Before the final votes were counted, brands that stepped into the political arena saw varying levels of success. While the Calm app saw positive sentiment for sponsoring CNN coverage on Election Night, Gap saw the opposite when it tweeted a message of unity with a red and blue hoodie. The retailer deleted the tweet within an hour after people asserted that the brand was taking advantage of the political climate to sell goods.
Even so, when the final results of the election were announced, not all brands and ad agencies remained silent, although many brands that had get-out-the-vote campaigns have not yet put out messaging around the results.
Brands like Ben & Jerry’s, Bumble and ClassPass, along with ad agencies like McCann Worldwide and R/GA, reacted to the news on social media, to varying levels of overtness. While the passionate Ben & Jerry’s made its position clear in a blog post to its followers, Oreo and Potbelly tweeted oh-so-subtle nods at celebrating. Many focused on celebrating Harris’ historic win or messages of unity, rather than celebrating a win for the Democratic party.
Ben & Jerry’s
The ice cream brand, known for taking positions on social and justice issues like Black Lives Matter, shared a blog post to its social media followers on Saturday, congratulating Americans on the historic voter turnout, encouraging them to continue to support the causes they care about, and calling on Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to create “a new, more just and equitable normal.”
“Donald Trump, his administration, and his enablers sowed the seeds of division while waging an attack on the norms and values that define our democracy. … For the first time in our country’s history, we’ve elected a woman, a Black woman, a South-Asian-American woman to the vice presidency. Amid the ongoing struggle to dismantle white supremacy and ensure that every Black life matters, this is a dramatic and important step on our long and unstoppable march toward justice.”
“We call on Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to stand on this common ground and back us in building a just future. Because rejecting Donald Trump is not enough.”
Two days before the results were announced, Ben & Jerry’s also tweeted some strong words about the President’s claims. “We can’t believe an ice cream company has to say this. … The President’s lies are a threat to our country. Voters voted. Patriotic election workers are counting votes. Voters will choose the next president.”