Industry leading truck manufacturer Hardy Truck and Motor Company has lost influence with much of its consumer base after a string of poorly received marketing decisions.
Hardy, which manufactures and distributes light, medium, and heavy duty trucks, and is one of the few automotive companies in the world that sells both semi trailer and pickup trucks, came under fire from conservative consumers after changing their trademark “Hardy” logo from red to blue. In just forty eight hours, Hardy’s stock dropped to sixty percent of its value, and several key members of the company stepped down. Forbes reported last Wednesday that the move cost the company approximately one and a half billion dollars in revenue.
Right-wing political programs and social media were aflame with ire and ridicule directed toward the beleaguered business. A common refrain was the suggestion that “Hardy has gone Softy” and photoshopped images of Hardy trucks bearing a “Flaccid” or “Impotent” insignia instead of the brand. Conservative commentator Dominic Childs referred to the color change as “political pussyfooting.”
“It’s an undeniable political statement. There’s no two ways about it,” said Childs on Monday’s airing of The Dominic Effect, his primetime political talk show. “This. Is. Politics. Hardy is seeking to alienate its dedicated and loyal conservative foundation in favor of attracting approval from spineless, weak-willed Democrats that lack the edge to drive trucks in the first place. You think the same people that are still terrified of a nonexistent virus and have their days ruined by an allegedly incorrect use of pronouns have the mettle to drive a fifty thousand pound truck for ten hours a day? If so, I’d like to politely ask that you try coming down and joining us in reality sometime.”
The president of Hardy, Sam Winters, made a desperate bid to assure that the inciting incident was little more than a harmless aesthetical decision.
“Not in a million years would I have guessed that a simple logo change, and not even really a change, but a logo recoloring, could have the potential to elicit backlash of this severity,” Winters said to reporters Friday. “I have said it before, but as it clearly bears repeating, I will say it again, and again, and however many times are necessary to get the point across: There is absolutely nothing political about the decision to recolor the logo on the Hardy Company’s vehicles and branding.”
“So now they’re calling us stupid,” said Childs of Winters’ statement. “Lib-loving Sam Winters thinks the conservative public is so dimwitted that they would be motivated to tank a multi billion dollar business only by incorrect speculation, by grasping at straws. How wrong you are, Mr. Winters. How terribly, insultingly, shamefully wrong you are.”
To make the already catastrophic matters worse, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Hardy lost another quarter million in revenue after inadvertently incensing the other side of the American political spectrum. After trying to defend the company from the right, Winters set off the left by appearing on the Instagram feed of his daughter, social media influencer Sierra Winters, in Levi’s jean shorts.
“The shorts are obviously acting as a covert signal to the Republicans that turned on him that he’s ‘still one of the good ol’ boys,’ as it were,” suggested opinion and business writer Amir Shah in the New York Daily News. “When you see jean shorts, you know that a barbecue, a Miller Lite, a Dale Earnhardt ballcap, and the continued oppression of black and brown Americans is waiting just around the corner to join them. Take note presidents and CEOs: It’s no use trying to fool the observant and well informed public.”
Article image by Taylor on Unsplash.