Tying your brand onto big news is a tried and true method of catching some buzz. Everyone does it. Nandos have practically turned it into a science. For the rest, there’s no right or wrong way but everyone can agree when they see genius.

The crap can sometimes be a bit more subjective. But sometimes, it’s clear to all that the poop has hit the fan. Just ask Kenneth Cole.

Buzz Creation FAIL.

The designer’s Tweet about what’s happening in Egypt went out a while ago.

It was apologised for and retracted very quickly, but not fast enough, making it onto Mashable, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post and other blogs and magazines. First it went viral, which is bad, then it went analog, which is arguably worse. Look what’s been popping up on the windows of KC outlets:

If the Twittersphere is freaking out about it, imagine what it must look like to someone reading it on a store window without any context. Using humour to convert human suffering into moving stock is a tempestuous formula at best. Any comedian will tell you that success requires timing and knowing your audience. So this missed the mark. Unfortunately for KC, it looks like a two line apology on Facebook citing his reverence for the downtrodden masses isn’t gonna make this go away.

Using a trending topic about civil war, revolution or rebellion to raise awareness about your new line is probably gonna backfire. What’s the bet a percentage of sales from that line will be going to a relevant charity? Whether the responses are, storm in a teacup, over-reaction, hypocrisy, justified outrage or a lack of perspective, it certainly isn’t the result intended. What’s more, someone has already started a KennethColePR account on twitter with gems like this: