Two Takeaways From JC Penney’s “Hitler” Kettle

Early last week this article appeared on several prominent websites.


The “Hitler Kettle”. A rather unique kettle that through unusual circumstances shared a similar appearance to one of histories most loathsome individuals.

The rather unusual similarity was documents by The Telegraph, Mighty Optic Illusions and the New York Daily to name a few.

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


What (and HOW) are People Sharing About YOUR Brand?

We have talked a lot about how the online world (and specifically social media) has opened up the ability for consumers to share their brand experiences – for good or for bad.

What are people sharing online about your brand? Think KIA can afford this kind of negative PR?

What are people sharing online about your brand? Think KIA can afford this kind of negative PR?

Here is a prime example of that. What drove (no pun intended) this KIA owner to go to this length to showcase their frustrations?

Does KIA know? If not why? If so, what are they doing about it?
If this was YOUR brand, what would YOU do about it?

There is tremendous value to being on social media, if not to market, then to monitor and to keep tabs on what is being discussed in regards to you brand or business.