It’s been a tough few days for Mr. Wilde.
Since his communications in handing Madison Bumgarner the MVP trophy for the World Series and keys to a Chevy Colorado, the media has crushed Mr. Wilde (and those were the nice ones).
While Mr. Wilde’s LinkedIn profile isn’t exactly enlightening, we can safely assume that when he took on the role as zone manager for GM Sales out of Louisburg, Kansas, he didn’t figure on making an appearance on Fox with millions looking on.
I wonder if Chevrolet forgot it needed to provide a spokesperson to present the World Series MVP trophy. Perhaps on the morning of game seven, someone in branding asked who’s handling this and Chevrolet realized this “little” detail had slipped between the cracks. Now in scramble mode to find someone, an email went out to the local troops with this history-changing response: “What about Rikk? He loves baseball and he’s a good guy.”
Before piling on Mr. Wilde with the ferocity of Hunter Pence playing church-league softball, I feel a certain obligation to point out that this communications debacle was not Mr. Wilde’s fault.
For starters, as noted earlier who was the Einstein who decided that out of the more than 200,000 General Motors employees, Mr. Wilde should be the one who plays to a national audience on TV. This is not a man who spends his Tuesday nights honing his standup at Timbercreek Grill’s open mic.
Two, who the hell wrote his preamble?
I’m assuming someone in the branding or advertising or communications group was involved. The writing doomed Mr. Wilde before he uttered a word.
I know Chevrolet pays millions for a branding campaign tied to the World Series. Naturally, the company wants to maximize its ROI. But fellas, this is not the time to stretch your air time by a few more seconds while shifting into promo mode.
Why did you ply this poor guy with so many words that he had to resort to a note card because it was too long to remember? Why did you insist that he brag about Chevrolet and the Chevy Colorado when his singular mission should have been to say Chevrolet enjoys its association with major league baseball, “job well done” to Madison and get off the podium?
You can watch the longest 61 seconds in Mr. Wilde’s life in the video clip below.
Bud Selig, the commissioner for major league baseball, does him no favors with a distracted behavior that starts around second 21 (maybe seeking out a GM exec for a little talk).
Here’s the transcript behind his Warhol-like fame:
“Thanks. Madison, congratulations. Um, as the official sponsor, or the official vehicle, of major league baseball, Chevrolet is proud to participate in this, uh, prestigious award. Um, along with our dealers, we are also extremely honored to give back to this sport, uh, by supporting baseball in cities and towns across this nation. At Chevrolet we have, um, we have also been proud of the latest and greatest, uh, technology in our truck lineup, which is the all-new 2015, uh, Chevy Colorado. Um, it combines class-winning and leading, um, you know, technology and stuff with, uh, Wi-Fi powered by OnStar. (It’s up there on the screen) To recognize your performance in this 2015 World Series, I proudly present to you a very own set of keys to a brand new 2015, uh, Chevy Colorado. Congratulations.”
Again, Mr. Wilde’s nerves of jelly, falling back on a uh/um 11 times and attempt at improv — “technology and stuff” — weren’t the problem.
Like a bad coach, the powers that be at Chevrolet put him in a position that guaranteed a branding fail in what should have been brand-communications moment.
To Mr Wilde’s credit, he kept his sense of humor (assuming this Twitter feed is authentic).
If you’re interested in the media coverage, a cross section follows: