Great Social Media Idea: RIP Butler Blue II

Man oh man oh man. Normally I try to say something witty here in the lede, just to soften you all up, but it doesn't quite seem right to preface a post about the death of a beloved pet/mascot with an inane zinger.

Yes, the day after I posted an emotional tearjerker of a video, I'm going right back to the well and sharing the devastating social media tributes for Blue II, the erstwhile adorable bulldog mascot of Butler University. Blue II passed away today after a battle with illness, and Butler handled his untimely death with grace, heart, and - dare I say - a little bit of charm.

They never once even came close to taking advantage of the illness and death for marketing purposes, but given that Blue II was an important part of their community and a very active presence on social media (he has 13,000+ Twitter followers and constantly appeared in various photos and videos from the athletics department), it was right of them to be present during his last days.

They wrote a very sweet blog post (ostensibly from Blue II) thanking his fans, and set up a memorial page where people could leave comments with their favorite memories of him.

When Blue II finally did pass away, they wrote this incredibly touching Tweet: 

So sad, but so sweet. RIP Blue II!

So sad, but so sweet. RIP Blue II!

I mean... devastatingly sad, but also a fitting and touching tribute to a mascot that was so active on social media. 

As the finl heart-breaker, they put together this compilation video of some of the best photos and videos of Blue II over the years. 

All of this is a tour de force from Butler for how to handle something tragic like this in today's social media world. You can't not do something, but you also can't be crass or exploitative. It needs to be genuine, heartfelt, and authentic to the person (or pet!) you are memorializing.

Blue II is clearly an important and beloved member of the Butler family, and Butler's social media team did right by him with their tributes over the past days. 

RIP Blue II! 


 

The Week in Links

Music at Midweek: Au Revoir Simone