Corporate Social Irresponsibility

There are great marketing ideas, not-so-great-marketing ideas and bad marketing ideas. Occasionally, though, there comes along a marketing idea so bad that is also qualifies as just plain wrong.

Krispy Kreme, the makers of those heart-stopping, calorie-laden donuts, has lent their name to an event so unique that it strains credulity. Naturally, it incorporates their ubiquitous product. But, after that, the idea goes straight to hell in a hand basket.

Called ‘The Krispy Kreme Challenge,’ the ‘race’ encourages joggers to run one mile to and from a Krispy Kreme store. Fair enough. But, the ‘challenge’ involves stopping at the KK store and downing a dozen donuts before completing the race.

The race was started as a fund raising event by a NC State University fraternity and is now sponsored by a local running supply store, a handful of local college hang-outs and a law firm.  Now in its second year, the KK Challenge attracted a record 1,400 runners whose race fees contributed more than $10,000 to the North Carolina Children’s Hospital.

The donation is a good thing. But, everything else about the challenge is wrong.  Just plain wrong. What is Krispy Kreme thinking? I’m not a doctor, but consuming a dozen donuts and then running a mile has to put huge strains on the cardiovascular system. It can’t be good for the stomach or other vital organs now that I think about it. Just thinking about the race makes me ill.

Why would KK lend its name to a race that does more harm than good? Will it take a few runner heart attacks before someone with some semblance of sense and responsibility wakes up and pulls the plug on this god-awful idea?

The Krispy Kreme Challenge is so bad and so absurd that I believe it should be entered in its own PR industry awards category: corporate social irresponsibility.

3 thoughts on “Corporate Social Irresponsibility

  1. Bubbles: This is a reputation issue for Krispe Kreme. It may seem small to you, but if one of those kids drops dead, there will be hell to pay. someone’s asleep at the wheel for Krispy Kreme. Maybe one too many doughnuts?

  2. Oh come on, RepMan. This is a college fundraiser! While I don’t think this is a particularly healthy activity, I also do not think that any of the official event sponsors are condoning anything as heinous or dangerous as you purport. And it’s pretty damn tame compared to some of the classic (and deadly) collegiate activities that center on alcohol. (Doesn’t it pale in comparison to some of the ways RepMan spent his free time as a student at Northeastern?) This is a tiny bug on Krispy Kreme’s windshield, not a eight-point buck strapped to the hood. BTW: Krispy Kremes are lighter than air and a dozen are nothing but a snack to frat boys.