Lil Nas X, VW Controversy, Vaccine Passports

The month of April blew in bringing fools, fire and vaccine passports. In this week’s episode, Austin, Thomas and Hattie talk about Volkswagen’s April Fool fail, Nike’s clap-back on rapper Lil Nas X’s “Satan Shoes,” and concerns about the new vaccine passport policy.

Volkswagen is the Biggest (April) Fool

If we had to grade Volkswagen’s effort to promote the company’s lone electric vehicle to coincide with April Fool’s Day, they earned an ‘F.’ It all started with a leaked press release from Volkswagen announcing a rebrand to “Voltswagen” and that the change was a “public declaration of the company’s future-forward investment in e-mobility.” 

The company said the “Voltswagen” branding would be on all its EVs going forward. Turns out, it’s a big fat lie, and an April Fool’s fail. Their attempt to pull a harmless prank shows that jokes like these don’t always pan out and possibly can erode consumer trust.

Nike, Lil Nas X, and ‘Satan Shoes’

Lil Nas X can teach a master class on creating fame. The rap artist is intuitive, and creative, in using digital media to promote his music and most recently, his collaboration with MSCHF to sell 666 pairs of modified Nike Air Max 97s as “Satan Shoes.”

Nike sued MSCHF alleging unauthorized use of the Nike logo and requested the court to cancel orders of the Satan Shoes, but not before MSCHF was able to sell off all but one pair of the custom shoes. Sneaker heads and critics alike are taking opposite corners in the controversy. Lil Nas X most likely is smiling and thinking, “Where’s the fire?” 

Marketers, take note.

Can Vaccine Passports Help Revive the Economy?

Proponents say that if we can identify people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine, or at lower risk of spreading it could help open travel among other things. That’s a good thing. We desperately need the effort to work, to get our economy booming again and with summer around the corner, people back to enjoying travel beyond the grocery store, the backyard and the living room sofa.

Published by Austin Staton

Austin currently works with the Communications and Advocacy team at bp, is the immediate past president for IABC Houston, and is the founder of two podcasts — The Business Communicators and The Weekly Brew.

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