Early last week this article appeared on several prominent websites.
Just one glance at the image above is enough. The similarity between the infamous Austrian born dictator and this little kettle are indeed there.
Each of the articles we read on the matter indicated that JC Penney had indeed made an error and there would likely be fallout as a result. The amount of brand damage that was expected ranged in estimate.
However, we must remember the world we live in and the latest report is that this model of kettle sold out within days of the article first appearing online. As TIME documents well in their online article from May 29, the teakettle sold out in quick fashion.
Most recently one of these “Hitler Kettle’s” showed up on Ebay at a price of $199.00 (up from around $45 retail) others also appeared at prices ranging from $175 – $190 SOURCE
The mass online spread of the image above (and subsequently the novelty) is attributed of course to social media, including such sites as Reddit.
The conspiracy theorist in all of us is left wondering whether this was all just a bizarre series of events? Did JC Penney’s marketing team really not notice the similarities? Likely yes, unless you know to look for it, it is not necessarily apparent.
Or was this all a clever ruse & ploy that was executed in a rather bold fashion? We say… probably (and hopefully) not.
Two immediate takeaways from this rather unusual story are:
a. If there is a novelty, even perhaps an offensive one, it will likely have a market.
b. Online exposure clearly works wonders and social media again has proven its weight in the world of advertising and consumerism