Advertising Campaign Failures – In the UK, we have something called the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which is the body responsible for regulating the British advertising industry. Mostly known for taking calls from aggrieved parents (they’re currently being investigated by some mischievous elves), they make sure the sector remains fair and proper.
It’s also a good indicator of something worth watching. Whenever you read that the ASA has received a certain number of complaints, you know it’s something good, or at least entertaining. What inspired this list?
Advertising Campaign Failures
Below we’ve listed some of the biggest marketing failures (British and international) of recent years. Some are honest mistakes, and some are, “What were they thinking?”
The Magical Nostalgia Of Old Brands
This brewer at Republica Parrillera Pilsen in Costa Rica distinguished themselves when they decided to promote beer drinking with sausage eating. What a great combination, except the sausage is positioned on the billboard…in the form of a monstrous montage. The poster looks very attractive from the front, but from the back? Well, hello!
Pay a visit to this dentist in Valencia, Spain and you’re likely to get more than just a tooth fix. This is a perfect example of a logo fallacy: did the designer not see what was depicted? They’ve since changed the design to a weird ghost-like tooth and to be honest, we prefer the first idea.
Last spring, the Co-op ran a print ad in the Newspaper inviting people to reward their daughters with a chocolate Easter egg, specifically for ‘cleaning up’. The Manchester supermarket quickly issued an apology, but the damage was already done.
Even big brands can make mistakes. When a German gentleman scanned the QR code on the back of a Heinz bottle, he was unlucky (or lucky?) to be redirected to a hardcore porn website. This happened because the company let the website expire and then even more organizations bought the domain name. See what I did there?
What We Can Learn From Airbnb’s Marketing Fail — Domenica Giovannini[content_band bg_color=”#E8F6D2″ border=”all”] [container]By the way, do you need t-shirts for a marketing campaign? ? Printsome’s apparel printing services are perfect for souvenirs, merchandise, and employee uniforms, among many other options. Visit our website to find out more.[/container] [/content_band] Cadbury ‘ridiculous’ for skipping Easter
If we’ve learned anything from Starbucks’ annual Christmas cup debacle, it’s that some people can get really pissed off at the holidays and their own names. In 2017, Cadbury decided to remove the word “Easter” from their annual egg hunt and a frenzy ensued. So much so that even current Prime Minister Theresa May spoke out for herself saying the move was ‘ridiculous’.
We bet the IHOP community manager learned his lesson after this prank attempt. Needless to say, it upset quite a few people. Eventually, the message was removed, but after hours of no reaction from the company. Lesson of the day: If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.
The Bud Light slogan was one of the biggest marketing figures in terms of ignorance and attitudes towards rape. How anyone could write these words and not see the consequences is beyond me. The tagline suggests that beer is for a “certain type” of woman who is carefree, gets drunk and doesn’t care what happens to her.
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The product was sponsored by a marketing campaign on Twitter called #UpforWhatever. Surely someone at Budweiser would have realized that this campaign was doomed from the start.
Perhaps meant to be a fun holiday ad, this Bloomingdale’s ad for Rebecca Minkoff clothing featured a stylish man and woman wearing it. Oh, and the headline “Watch your best friend’s egg count when they’re not looking.”
This was seen in many online social media forums encouraging a bit of festive date-raping. Merry Christmas!
Cool, is #Bloomingdales Bill Cosby writing your ad copy now? pic.twitter.com/XRqSG2oEVH — Thomas Keister (@thomaskeister) November 12, 2015
Cringe Marketing Fails To Learn From
In 2015, in the midst of the migrant crisis, Paddy Power’s marketing team thought it would be a good idea to release an ad featuring foreign-born British athletes (and Andy Murray?) with the slogan “Immigrants, jump back”. (but if you are good at sports).
To add insult to injury, the image was used on trucks often associated with the transport of immigrants. The betting site is known for its racy ads but for many, this crossed the line.[content_band bg_color=”#E8F6D2″ border=”all”] [container]By the way, do you need t-shirts for a marketing campaign? ? Printsome’s apparel printing services are perfect for souvenirs, merchandise, and employee uniforms, among many other options. Visit our website to learn more.[/container] [/content_band] Coca-Cola learned geography the hard way
As seasoned professionals at the top of the marketing game, you’d think Coca-Cola would have a team of people ready to make sure everything the brand sends out is clean. But somehow this Russian announcement slipped through their fingers.
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To outsiders, it might look like a snow-covered map of Russia. For the Russians, it is clear that Kaliningrad, a city annexed after the end of World War II, is missing. The outrage sparked a #BanCocaCola hashtag on social media, often accompanied by photos of users flushing Coke cans down the toilet. Wow!
This ad concept was a colossal flop from start to finish. Shall we start with the slogan: ‘White does you win?’ Or maybe with these photos of Thai actor and singer Cris Horwang in blackface?
Even worse, Horwang appeared in a video campaign where he discussed how his white skin helped him take his career. Frankly, there doesn’t seem to be a single part of this campaign that isn’t offensive.
After raising prices by up to 10%, in 2013 British Gas decided to do a Q&A with their Twitter followers. GREAT IDEA! Soon the hashtag #AskBG went viral and not the way the company intended. As you can imagine, the campaign was mostly used by customers to voice their concerns and make sarcastic comments.
A&w Rebounds From ‘worst Marketing Fail’ With Burger For Math Challenged Americans
You would expect those responsible for promoting a destination to be quite clear about what the destination actually offers. But the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation’s new $5 million promotional video featured images of… Iceland.
The bureau quickly blamed the mistake on the company that edited the video, but not before the local press learned of the mistake. Surprisingly, the tweet promoting the video of current Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo was not deleted for long after the story broke.
, which is about what would have happened if WWII had been won by Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, Amazon decked out New York City subway cars with images of the Axis Powers.
Although they didn’t go so far as to put actual historical images of harsh regimes on the subway, people definitely got what they were referring to and they weren’t happy. The city’s mayor and state governor publicly condemned the ad.
Seen+noted: Craft Beer John Boston Taps Into The Legend With Long Copy ‘brewed In Honour Of Legends’ Out Of Home Campaign
At first glance, this tweet seems innocuous, and it would have been if it had been posted any other time. Unfortunately for Tesco’s intern community manager, he was placed squarely in the middle of the horsemeat products scandal. Wow!
‘A very merry unbirthday to you!’ This picture of Alicia with the caption seems like an innocent and even sweet picture to share on Twitter. Probably not on the anniversary of the Nagasaki attacks in Japan. And especially not with a caption that translates to “Happiness on a mean day.”
The US has had more than a few racially motivated incidents recently, and the coffee company Starbucks attempted a campaign to start conversations about race. Their baristas wrote ‘Race Together’ on their cups, encouraging customers to start discussing race with the staff.
Although the campaign had good intentions, “No. It’s 8 in the morning. I don’t want extra shots of “touchy subjects” in my latte. Give me my coffee. THANK YOU.’ The campaign lasted only six days.
Top 10 Advertisements That Failed In Indian Market
On paper it was a good idea. Tweet a selfie using the hashtag #WalkersWave for a chance to win a ticket to the UEFA Champions League final. The company then turned the selfies into a video featuring a featured photo of footballer Gary Lineker. So far so good. And then…
Apparently, he didn’t follow up and post pictures of murderers, sex offenders, dictators and others on Walkers Facebook accounts. Wow! When will these brands learn?
PR disaster coming walkers crisps #walkerswave gone wrong? pic.twitter.com/0l5c8eeX0J — Craig Denholm (@CraigDenholm) May 25, 2017
McDonald’s was another brand that made the mistake of bringing up subjects customers didn’t want to deal with when ordering hamburgers – terrorism.
Brexit Campaign Failures
In January 2016, the fast food giant ran a series of billboards with a message about things like 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombings, all under those famous golden arches. McDonald’s was immediately accused of capitalizing on the tragedy.
No no no @McDonalds: Please
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