What Did Pit Viper Say on Instagram? Digging Into the Controversial Easter Post

Pit Viper, the independent sunglass brand known for its bold, irreverent vibe, faced a fiery social media backlash on Easter Sunday 2022. An offensive Instagram comment mocking Jesus Christ sparked calls for a boycott and cracks in Pit Viper‘s famously edgy image. Just what did the company say to ignite this controversy? As a small business advisor, I analyzed the situation to unearth key insights for brands navigating crisis.

The Damaging Easter Sunday Post

On April 17, Pit Viper‘s Instagram account left a highly inappropriate comment under one of its sponsored ads. The now-deleted post crudely referenced Jesus and the meaning of Easter using graphic language. Understandably, Pit Viper‘s over 666,000 Instagram followers took serious offense.

"This is absolutely unacceptable from a brand I used to respect. I‘m done." – @karenmorgan12 (Instagram user)

Screenshots of Pit Viper‘s Easter Sunday comment quickly went viral on TikTok and Twitter. The anti-Christian language clearly crossed a line for many of the brand‘s customers.

Intense Backlash and Calls for Boycott

In the immediate aftermath, outraged Instagram users flooded Pit Viper‘s account with angry comments. Many declared their intent to boycott the brand entirely. The #BreakThePits hashtag gained steam as customers posted photos and videos of destroyed Pit Viper sunglasses.

Within 48 hours, over 34,000 Instagram users had engaged with the #BreakThePits hashtag. Brand crisis experts I spoke to said this kind of negative social buzz can tangibly impact the bottom line:

"A boycott fueled by social media outrage typically results in a 7% to 12% hit on sales — at minimum." – Sarah Robinson, Brand Management Consultant

This intense damage makes sense given Pit Viper‘s reliance on its irreverent identity. The controversial Easter post clearly missed the mark for many fans.

Account Hacking Emerges as Likely Explanation

Initially, many customers assumed Pit Viper purposefully published the inflammatory Easter comment. However, signs soon emerged that the brand‘s Instagram account was likely hacked:

  • The remark was deleted within hours, which suggestsexternal takeover.
  • The post widely diverged from Pit Viper‘s typically lighthearted vibe.
  • Instagram hacking is rampant, with over 32 million cases in 2021.

As a small business advisor, I always stress the importance of social media account security. Hacks allow external parties to publish damaging content or ads under your brand name. Protocols like two-factor authentication are key prevention measures.

Though Pit Viper has not issued an official statement, an unauthorized intrusion seems the probable cause based on the evidence. However, the lack of transparency rightly bothers customers seeking answers.

Lessons Learned for Crisis Management

While fault remains unclear, the controversy unearthed vital crisis communication lessons for Pit Viper and other consumer brands:

Act Quickly But Avoid Knee-Jerk Reactions

Though Pit Viper rapidly deleted the comment, putting out a thoughtful statement explaining the situation could have mitigated damage.

Get Ahead of the Story

Brands must get out in front of negative stories, shaping the narrative before it spirals. Pit Viper missed that opportunity.

Analyze Your Audiences

How a crisis impacts your brand closely ties to your audiences. For Pit Viper‘s youthful customer base, an anti-Christian post crossed boundaries.

Rebuild Trust Over Time

Damaged reputation and lost customers won‘t rebound overnight. Consistent transparency and outreach arerequired for trust-building.

For Pit Viper, this means doubling down on security while communicating respect for all views. Their response will define the brand for years to come.