‘Brown’s bad news was their good news,’ explains Robert Passikoff, founder and president of consultancy Brand Keys
Thanks to Tessica Brown‘s viral video in which she confessed to using Gorilla Glue in her hair in place of regular hair gel, sales of the extra strength adhesive have reported skyrocketed.
According to Ad Age, Google searches for Gorilla Glue are already a whopping 50 times higher in February than in January. The spray adhesive’s search volume on Amazon has also soared by an astounding 4,378 percent, and its best-seller rank has increased 129 percent.
“Brown’s bad news was their good news,” explains Robert Passikoff, founder and president of consultancy Brand Keys. “Nobody died. It’s one of those things where from a brand perspective, almost everyone is saying, from a rational perspective, you probably ought to watch what you’re putting on your head.”
Some are surprised that Gorilla Glue has chosen to lay fairly low during the media firestorm. But Brian Dolan, co-founding and managing director of CPG Camp, which provides marketing training from brand leaders, says their current approach is probably for the best.
“The brand’s actions feel right for the moment,” says Dolan. “They have much to lose by appearing negligent or, worse, appearing to capitalize on the situation. Reinforcing instructions for use, expressing empathy for the victim and providing advice to resolve, while temporarily pausing any media, positions them as a responsible advocate for brand safety.”
But in light of some of the racist posts that have hit social media following Brown’s video, Wil Shelton, CEO of Wil Power Integrated Marketing in Los Angeles, says the mishap with her using the adhesive highlights continued deficiencies in hair-care product availability for Black people.
“We do need more accessibility for Black-owned hair-care brands,” Shelton says, “and more shelf space and availability given to them than we have had in the past.”
theGrio reported Tessica Brown traveled to Los Angeles to visit Dr. Michael Obeng for a surgical procedure. The surgeon reached out to Brown after seeing her viral story and offered to perform the $12,000 operation free of charge.
“When I found out this was a reality, you can only feel compassion and sympathy for Tessica,” Obeng, director of MiKO Plastic Surgery, said to CBSLA. “The procedure will be to dissolve the polyurethane, which is Gorilla Glue is made out of.”
He shared with the news outlet, “The surgery went well. Tessica is doing well. She’s awake. The hair crew is doing her hair.”
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