Kudos To The Crock-Pot People For Handling The Online Fallout From 'This Is Us' So Well

from the what-a-crock dept

Corporate Twitter accounts typically range from the blandly uninspired to exhibiting unfortunate behavior. While you can occasionally get some good content out of these handles, they are far too often just…meh.

And, yet, let’s see how the Crock-Pot brand of slow-cookers responded to a genuine freak-out on the internet that occurred after a recent episode of This Is Us. For those of you who watch the show, here’s your insipid little spoiler alert. A main character on the show died in a recent episode when a slow cooker malfunctioned and burned the house down. Cool. Well, apparently that’s when many viewers took to Twitter to announce that they were going to get these death machines out of their houses ASAP, with many mentioning Crock-Pots by name, even though there was no branding on the murderous slow-cooker in the show.

Fans freaked out, taking to social media with tales (and gifs) of throwing away their Crock-Pots. The Crock-Pot Brand people leapt into action, quickly creating a Twitter account (@CrockPotCares) to deal with the public relations problem that had been dropped in their lap like a delicious and family-pleasing but nevertheless painful batch of hot soup.

And they did a darn good job of handling all of this on Twitter. I’m conditioned at this point to expect for companies in these instances to mirror the online freak-out themselves, going crazy about what could be viewed as an unintentional attack on its their brand. Honestly, you half expect lawsuits to be drawn up almost immediately. Crock-Pot instead began educating the internet about the safety of its products while also drawing real connections with the viewers of the show so that it comes off as non-defensive.

It didn’t end there. Apparently Crock-Pot even got the actor (hey, it’s that guy from Heroes!) who plays the character who died to get in on the fun.

That’s about as well as I can imagine a company handling all of this. There is also a ton more in the tweet history that shows how creative and hip whoever is managing the account has been. It would be entirely understandable for the Crock-Pot folks to be angry, irritated, or terrified of this online response to a television show. They could have easily lashed out at the show, or even at an American public who apparently has trouble telling the difference between reality and fiction. Instead, they chose to be cool and human and came off as both confident and friendly.

That’s a good look all around.

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Companies: crock-pot

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Comments on “Kudos To The Crock-Pot People For Handling The Online Fallout From 'This Is Us' So Well”

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Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:


What is seriously at issue here is that the TV viewing public actually believes what they saw on TV. It might extend from decades ago advertising where the ‘kicker’ was ‘as seen on TV’ where that merely meant there was an AD on TV at some time, but the public took it as some sort of endorsement. Hmm, shame on the public. And worse, it is still true.

This reaction, the tossing of actually safe cooking equipment, because some TV show exhibited an episode where a ‘like’ piece of equipment ‘might’ have caused some havoc just goes to show how vulnerable the general viewing public might be. I don’t use Crock Pots, or any other ‘slow cooker’ but only because I was taught how to cook (retired professional chef here, hence the Toque next to my login), and don’t need such contrivances. Which is not to say that they are not useful for others. I have used slow cooking methods, but in specific circumstances (18 hours for Prime Ribs or Turkeys, but we used higher temperatures for browning, and the reason for slow cooking was to reduce evaporation which gave a better yield in the end product which was generally served by the ounce), and with much different equipment. For the home cook, not looking to replicate a particular classical dish, they are fine, and useful.

I bet that political advertisers, whether actual political parties, or big money advocates of whatever, are just creaming in their pants over this reaction. It merely means that they can tell anyone anything and be believed. How sad.

Num, num, num, oooh, I saw it on TV…must be true/real, I gotta…well something or other cause I saw it on TV and it must be, well I saw it on TV, they wouldn’t lie to me??? Would they???

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Vulnerabilities

I get what you’re saying, but several points:

– Fires have actually been caused by slow cookers in real life. True, they tend to be malfunctioning devices or misused, but there exists a real danger.
– Because of the way people normally use slow cookers (leave them on for hours while you go out and do something, go to bed, etc), most people haven’t considered them as potentially dangerous or at least had been lulled into a sense of security about them.
– The TV show caused those people to at least think twice about the potential dangers involved.
– Some people have over-reacted to this new knowledge.

This isn’t people believing in fictional dangers, it’s people being alerted to a very real danger they may not previously have considered. It is likely that the reaction to this is going to prevent more tasty stews than house fires, but the danger does exist.

I’d be with you if this was people believing in something that didn’t exist, but I see no problem with people believing factual information just because they got it from TV.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Vulnerabilities

I love it when ACs are out of ways to try and attack the article, you start babbling comical nonsense at whatever target you see first.

You will note that I in no way said that people getting rid of their slow cookers was the right thing to do, nor did I say I’d be doing that myself. I only stated that they can demonstrably cause fires, and the reaction proves that a lot of people didn’t know this before the TV show. It’s strange that so many of you are attacking people for getting perfectly true information from their chosen entertainment media, but that doesn’t change the facts.

A shame you had to try and turn this simple observation into a stupid attempt at point scoring against me. I suppose that when you can’t deal with the words people actually type, you have to make something up, for some reason.

JoeCool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Vulnerabilities

I normally vote you up, but in this case, you’re wrong. If you check federal data on fires, you find

Ranges claim the most kitchen damage by far, causing 63,784 fires and ending 199 lives, according the data cited from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The countertop appliances that most often caught flame were microwaves (3,084 fires), toaster devices (1,416 fires) and coffee brewers (256 fires), the magazine found. Slow cookers came in with 103 fires.

Slow cookers are NOT a hazard, despite what you think. I’ve used mine for several decades (occasionally getting a new one every decade or two) without a hint of trouble, nor has anyone I’ve known had a problem. I’ve never even seen a report about a slow cooker causing a fire before. Had to look it up online as you clearly neglected to do. I still love your posts, but not this time.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Vulnerabilities

“I normally vote you up, but in this case, you’re wrong.”

What, exactly am I wrong about?

“Slow cookers came in with 103 fires.”
“Slow cookers are NOT a hazard”

Erm, I’m sure there’s at least 103 people who would disagree with you there champ, by your own data. You’ll note that I never said they were a major hazard nor that they were more dangerous than other appliances, only that there was a non-zero danger of which many people were unaware until the TV show was aired.

“Had to look it up online as you clearly neglected to do”

No, I looked. Found plenty of reports where slow cookers were suspected or proven as being the cause of house fires when I did, too. Most of them don’t have enough information to tell whether the fires were caused by damage, improper use or other faults, but they definitely happen.

An Onymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Vulnerabilities

If you take your own implied advice I presume you also never fly, you don’t drive and probably never leave your house. Or perhaps you stay in a hotel miles away from home because everyone knows most accidents occur close to home. Even using a computer to post your messages here is a risk.

Living in fear is no way to live. We’ll never be 100% safe. That’s life.

Anything you plug into a wall carries a risk of fire. Unless that risk is significant why worry? Slow cookers certainly aren’t a significant risk.

JoeCool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Vulnerabilities

What he said. 🙂 Anywho, my point wasn’t that they’re PERFECTLY safe, as NOTHING is. It was that a slow cooker causing a fire is WAAAAAAAYYYYYYY down the list of hazards, especially in kitchen appliances. You DID notice that coffee makers are more than twice as likely to cause a fire, right?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Vulnerabilities

Basically, in terms of always-on electrical appliances, slow cookers barely cause a blip in number of incidents.

There’s a reason I never leave a toaster, microwave or coffee maker unattended, and always unplug my toaster/coffee maker when not in use. Unfortunately, Microwave ovens generally need to stay plugged in, but at least they’ve got both physical and electrical safety mechanisms meaning that you really only have to watch them while they’re running.

I wonder how many fires are caused by hot water heaters, space heaters, computer electronics and wall warts each year — I have a feeling the number would dwarf fires caused by slow cookers.

JoeCool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Vulnerabilities

Last problem I had with an appliance was the microwave. I was cooking a potato and about halfway through the time the microwave decided to commit suicide. I noticed it smoking and immediately unplugged it and took it outside. It was lucky I was watching it. I can easily see where very high wattage devices like a microwave can cause fires. Slow cookers don’t use nearly the same power… they spread it over time, being meant to be running 6 to 12 hours. Not to mention, microwaves tend to get a lot more usage. I doubt most people use their slow cooker more than once or twice a month. I use mine between once and four times a month, but we use the microwave maybe a dozen times a day.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Vulnerabilities

“You DID notice that coffee makers are more than twice as likely to cause a fire, right?”

Oh, and I also have no problem with people being aware of the risk of that too. Even if they get that knowledge from a TV show. Why you have a problem with that is a mystery, I suppose you’d rather nobody know that appliances can cause fires when used improperly until their house is actually on fire?

It’s up to you twats whether or not you want to parley that into something else, but you can fuck mourselves if you’re going to pretend that means I think people should throw out their coffee makers. Stop lying about me and maybe you’ll get some sense into your heads.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Vulnerabilities

“If you take your own implied advice”

The advice you’re imagining. Jesus, all I’m saying is that these things have caused fires like the one in the TV show. It’s not fantasy, and I don’t see why it’s a problem if people are made aware of real things through a drama.

Why you thencome up with the idiotic idea that I’m even advocating these things to be thrown away, let alone cower in fear from every potential risk, is beyond me.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Vulnerabilities

Gentlemen, please! Settle down.

If you’re worried about fire safety where your electrical appliances are concerned get a qualified electrician in to PAT test your stuff, then carry out an electrical safety check bearing this in mind: https://www.firerescue1.com/fire-products/fire-safety-for-children/articles/1206100-5-common-causes-of-electrical-fires/

I work in the FM industry and on every site I manage we have PAT testing every year and fixed wire testing every five years. It’d be expensive, I know, but how much is peace of mind and your families’ safety worth?

Yes, I own a slow cooker, yes I’ve left it on while out of the house.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Vulnerabilities

Exactly. Even by the admission of the idiots distorting everything I’ve said in here, there were over 100 fires caused by slow cookers over whatever timescale and location was quoted in the uncited snippet. I don’t see why it’s a problem that people should be made aware of this being a risk. Going by the article, lots of people were unaware of the danger at all, and my point was simply that since it’s a real risk, what’s the issue with them being made aware of it, and then potentially taking action that will help prevent some of the next 100?

The major problem is why a bunch of people decided to outright lie about this very true statement. A shame, as apart from the usual idiots I normally expect more honest and intelligent comments here. But, apparently, it’s better that people remain ignorant of reality than gain knowledge through the wrong medium, and noting that a real danger exists, no matter how small, has to mean that you’re scared of all electrical appliances..

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Vulnerabilities

Yep. I think people are flipping out too much over one product instead of asking HOW they cause fires. The answer is usually either a faulty appliance, a dodgy fuse, a dodgy fuse board, or corroded wiring.

Imagine chucking out a perfectly good slow cooker because a TV show referenced the fact that broken ones can cause fires only to have your house burn down that time you left your PC on while you went out to get some shopping.

OldMugwump (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Vulnerabilities

No, the AC is right (this time).

Any electrical device that’s left on unattended poses the same risk – including computers (I leave mine on 24/7).

Slow cookers aren’t inherently more risky than computers.

(Fast cookers – anything that heats above ignition temperatures – are another story.)

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Vulnerabilities

Yes, they do. Which is why I’m particularly annoyed at the group of twats in here pretending that the fact that I said “there things happen and I don’t know why it’s a bad thing that a TV show informed people” actually means “you should be deathly afraid of every appliance in your house”.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Vulnerabilities

No, they just implied it with their bullshit attacks on me happening to mention that the risk associated with one appliance is not zero.

Perhaps it you fuckers wished to have a proper conversation . rather than piling on something I absolutely did not say, there would be less misunderstanding.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Vulnerabilities

Comments like “Hey Paul, computers can cause fires. You should get rid of yours” don’t imply that? Comments like “If you take your own implied advice I presume you also never fly, you don’t drive and probably never leave your house.” don’t imply that (even leaving aside the fact that the implication he took was the polar opposite of what I said”?

You must have a different understanding of the English language to me.

But, I see the bunch of pricks who typed those words have now disappeared, leaving only you to try and pretend the words they typed don’t exist.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Vulnerabilities

“I bet that political advertisers, whether actual political parties, or big money advocates of whatever, are just creaming in their pants over this reaction. It merely means that they can tell anyone anything and be believed. How sad.”

This isn’t news. The public, in particular the American public is naive, ignorant, uneducated, stupid, clueless, and thus easily manipulated. This isn’t an accident: enormous amounts of time, money, and effort have been spent ensuring that they remain so. (For example: defunding/underfunding education. Best way to create a manipulable audience is to deprive them of education, starting as soon in life as possible.)

This in turn is why there are substantial numbers of hopeless ignorant Americans who think creationism is real and anthropocentric global warming isn’t. I know that’s incredible — how could ANYONE possibly that stupid? — but it’s true. The average American cannot even comprehend their own country’s history or basic scientific principles: they really are quite miserable.

That’s why the rest of us are moving on without them, as their country turns into fascist theocracy run by kleptocrats. They’ve gone from leading the world in education, science, engineering, etc., to sinking into the abyss of ignorance. They can be dismissed and will no doubt be completely owned by China before the century is over.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Vulnerabilities

Great points all over in this thread, but I’d just like to add that rather than political advocacy for internal issues, what’s more dangerous in this regard — at least to the rest of the world — is advocacy in furtherance of imperialism and neo-colonialism. While complex political issues are often ridiculously simplified and reduced to buzzwords, partisanship may somewhat help ensure that at least a significant amount of people won’t fall for deceptive advocacy from the other team. Or, in some cases like net neutrality, even if many people may not fully understand the intricacies, they know from firsthand experience that the claims Comcast et al push forward are horseshit.

However, when it comes to furthering the empire, it can be delivered as entertainment, by people highly regarded not as propagandists but artists (because they are), with better efficiency than any advocacy could achieve.

This is a pretty good read to start with: http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175958/

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Vulnerabilities

“I bet that political advertisers, whether actual political parties, or big money advocates of whatever, are just creaming in their pants over this reaction. It merely means that they can tell anyone anything and be believed. How sad.”

A lot of the situation in the US regarding the use of torture is directly because of “24” and shows like it that demonstrate torture as an effective tool of interrogation.

Anonymous Coward says:

The general public is a bunch of imbeciles.

Also, the show writers are a bunch of imbeciles; those things are designed to be on for long periods of time and are tested pretty damn rigorously accordingly. Those things last for decades and decades.

They could have had some earlier throwaway line about how the character was buying cheap, sketchy products or something, or better yet have a casual mention about a rat or something has been nibbling on wires (which would be a far more reasonable explanation for a fire starting). And also, did the main character not have working fire alarms or something? Sheesh.

Anonymous Coward says:

Consumer Experience

Like many Americans I, have spent many hours on the phone with customer support. The experience is usually lengthy, painful, and ultimately disappointing. That is NOT true of my Crock Pot experience. They were pleasant and went well beyond what my expectations were. I expected to purchase a new lid for a discontinued out of warranty product. They shipped a new full unit current model to my home at no charge. We since bought another one so we can entertain large groups. As big companies go they are awesome and the products are good quality.

Ed (profile) says:

It was clearly indicated in the episode that the slow-cooker in question had a broken switch. The old couple that gave the victim the slow-cooker told him “you have to wiggle the switch to get it to work”. So, shouldn’t the message people get is to throw away broken electrical devices, not ones in good working condition? I guess that’s too complex for most idiots, though.

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