By Published On: April 28, 2018

We’ve all seen it and in many ways we’ve become accustomed to or even accepting of it. A brand photobomb can be an overly-obvious product placement in a movie, golfers decked out in too many logos, Jen mentioning dry eyes at the Oscars, and perhaps the original, race cars. Sponsorship, support, revenue, I get it. But what happens when a brand tries to become the story? What happens, as illustrated in this photo, when the interruption is so great that it can instill disdain or even anger?

On a recent trip to Athens we decided to eat a rooftop restaurant touting a nighttime view of the Acropolis. I cannot accurately describe the feeling when seeing this view overtaken by the huge Wyndham Grand sign on top of their building. I’m guessing the intent was likely to be part of any photo taken from this perspective. Free advertising. What could go wrong? Look Jessie, my photo of the Acropolis at night…Hey, what’s THAT?

How was this decision made? Who decided this was ok, that this obnoxious move was worth anything but scorn? Who decided that their name, logo, brand was more important than a 4000-year-old Acropolis?

To add insult, when looking at their website I noticed that they also have rooftop dining…with a view of the Acropolis. However, this restaurant is on the other side of their building so if you’re dining at the place that ruined the view for half of Athens, you get a perfect, unobstructed view. In a way, Wyndham now owns the view. Congratulations.

Brands need to be, and usually are, more careful than this. Brands work hard to earn our trust and respect, and frankly to get us to like them. Perhaps Wyndham thinks they’re above this…too big to fail. I’ve done quite an extensive search online to see others have taken issue with this and I’ve found nothing, likely because any search with the name Wyndham serves up 20 pages of Wyndham ads. Perhaps a few less jerky moves such as this and they could cut their ad budget.

Love to hear if you have a brand photobomb example to share?

About the Author: Maureen Dyvig

Confessions of a reluctant marketer
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