I’m a big fan of books, movies, music, video games, and the ocean. But we’re Starbucks Coffee Company. It’s easy to overlook these slip ups, but it’s important to consider national and international events before your campaign begins. This extremely controversial ad showed an African-American woman turning into a white woman after using the Dove body lotion. The release became a punchline and a source of genuine concern on social platforms like Twitter and Facebook. The 5 Worst Digital Marketing Campaigns of All Time Facebook Twitter LinkedIn In this day and age of sophisticated, 24-hour marketing, there are plenty of inspiring, happiness-inducing, hilarious campaigns – and then there are the ones that make you wonder, “Who could possibly have approved that?” 21 of the Worst Marketing Campaigns, Flops, Follies & Faux Pas 1. Well, it turns out that one of the things they both shared was a love for filet-o-fish sandwiches. Nobody ever said marketing a movie was easy. They immediately issued an apology, but the damage was already done. Unfortunately, the Groupon service being promoted took a back seat to post-Superbowl back-lash this advertisement created. While you may not intend to offend your audience, if you’re addressing a touchy subject, you might cause a backlash and hurt your brand and reputation. So, we’re revisiting our popular piece from 2018 on the worst marketing buzzwords.Not all of the 2020 version are pandemic-related and have withstood the test of time. Mark Zuckerberg used Facebook’s VR app Spaces to tour through an NPR-produced 360-video of Puerto Rico. What started out as a simple joke on a sign outside of a Denver coffee shop lead to a national uproar. No big deal right? Micah Lally | Goal: Use slang to target a young and in-tune culture of fast food eaters through online banner advertisements. Goal: Create a hit commercial for the ultimate... 2. The issue is that gentrification also leads to displacement of residents, typically lower income minorities. Ink Coffee was met with big crowds of protestors and even vandalism. In September 2006, anybody could join. Du Bois quote that included his name misspelled. It’s always important to check out a car before you purchase it. Sony was quoted as saying, "The images that were used in the campaign were intended solely to highlight the contrast between the different colors available for the PSP.". If you disagree with the campaigns mentioned below, please let me know which campaigns you feel should make a list. **Chalk it up to another failed marketing attempt. Some of these examples were simply launched at the wrong time. **Wang Cares. **Swift backlash from the National Eating Disorders Association. The idea failed for more reasons than one, and it didn’t help that in France, “La Poire” is slang for “gullible.”. Today, marketers are exploring new channels and new media. “Our slim, attractive new can is the perfect complement to today’s most stylish looks.”  -Jill Geraud, CMO for PepsiCo. 15 min read. Sounds delicious, doesn't it? Customers, like a bad episode of hoarders, were simply not ready to part with their old coke can or their old coke taste. Goal: Create new flavors to attract a larger audience. Starbucks “Blonde” Espresso. Advertising agencies used it to eviscerate Pepsi's in-house ad group by saying the fiasco never would have happened if only they'd used an agency. Some of the brands might totally surprise you. With the release of Starbucks' blonde espresso, which is meant to be a lighter and sweeter alternative to its standard drinks, came a pretty unremarkable marketing campaign. It was an empowering campaign. That's great for product launches and brand awareness, but it can easily backfire on a company if they miss the mark. Their bright yellow landing page advertising the new product read as "Who says espresso has to be intense? The ad actually showed up in Google search results as “Dove racist ad.” While no agency has taken “credit,” Unilever said the ad was intended to show “the diversity of real beauty.”. Most of us understand it's a paid partnership, but still. Groupon's Super Bowl Commercial Goal: Create a billboard promoting the new White PSP Wendy's got into a tweet battle with customers over whether they really use fresh beef. Several of the worst marketing promotions didn't start from a bad place, but they led to public outrage and millions of lost dollars all the same; retailers like Starbucks and the World Wildlife Fund genuinely wanted to enact social change and help others. Although many viewed these advertisement as strange and creepy, underwear sales among registered sex offenders spiked 15% after the launch of this campaign. In fact, many people use this kind of phrasing when they refer to completing an event. But there are still certain precautions you can take to minimize the risk. The whole point of partnering with influencers is for their endorsement to feel organic and natural. Sometimes the worst marketing campaigns are simply ones that don't feel true to the company. This time it was McDonald’s. 15 Ways to Let the World Know About Your Awesome Business, Using Educational Content to Win Over Your Ideal Customers. It must also be difficult to start and easily corroded. Most of these marketing campaigns bombed because they were essentially just tone deaf, right? Always consider the implications behind your messaging. In fact, white supremacist groups jumped at the opportunity to applaud Nivea for their messaging. Budweiser's idea to fire back at Miller was juuuuust a bit outside of their ultimate goal. **The idea turned into Ms. Favor-Hamilton being chased in the woods by a chainsaw wielding psycho trying to kill her. 3. You can learn from their mistakes and ensure the success of your marketing campaign, even if it is your first. Build your strategy in a way that prevents these troll attacks. The 5 Worst Marketing Campaigns Ever. **The Renault 14 was soon being called a rotten pair. And as if the disastrous change wasn't enough, Snapchat's introduction to ads led to a PR nightmare after insulting one of the world's most popular celebrities. Walkers is a UK-based snack company that implemented a social media campaign where customers submitted selfies for an opportunity to win tickets to a major sporting event. OK, not a bad goal for your campaign. But you have a clear advantage over them. This is particularly unfortunate because the concept of this campaign was pretty smart. Below are some of the best marketing campaigns of all time (in no particular order). If you’re going to use pop culture references in your marketing, do your research. Many who watched this perceived it as stating either that being African-American is dirty, or being white is beautiful. Poor preparation, missing an important detail, or completely offend a certain segment of the audience. Home Knowledge The Best and Worst Marketing Campaigns of 2018. It was far more offensive than it was humorous. Campaigns are often planned out months in advance. The Butcher cover was quickly replaced and three years later, “Here Comes the Sun” was released having absolutely nothing to do with this incident. So without further ado, below are some of the worst marketing campaigns so far in 2019. **Result: Slight slang misunderstanding. The computer systems at the DoE are old, but Betsy next time, try using spell check! To avoid the worst marketing campaigns, the brand should care about the buyers and aim to solve their pains and inconveniences as appropriate for the offering at hand. After Tylenol public relations and corporate execs were finished pinching themselves to make sure it wasn't a horrible nightmare, the company bounced back putting on a clinic of how to react to worst case scenarios in business. Christmas can be the busiest time in a professional marketer’s life. H&M. **Result: Goal: Decrease drug use among children and teens with a campaign budget of over 1 billion dollars. The text reads "Playstation Portable. We're always here to answer questions or just chat. For the album “Yesterday and Today” The Beatles decided to break away from their bowl haircuts and try something creative. Both slogans and taglines are very important for a brand's positioning in the business. I'd like it to have Consumer Report credibility, and. Goal: Create a small family car and marketing it as being the shape of a fruit, specifically a pear! When you’re making jokes, look at them from all angles and perspectives. The slogan suggests the beer is for a ‘certain type’ of a woman who is carefree, gets drunk and doesn’t care what happens to her. The fourth panel shows a young white woman. Dolce & Gabbana’s Unethical Marketing Campaigns Among the worst social media campaigns as relevant for the biggest and most popular brands, Dolce & Gabbana should be mentioned. Typos aren't usually a big deal, unless you're the Department of Education! Case in point: the Diet Pepsi can. When analyzing a failed marketing campaign, your business should consider: I’m a Content Writer at Bluleadz. Some organizations simply don't have realistic goals for their campaigns or they just got the timing wrong. **Result: After selling a minor 30,000 units, the product was discontinued. Goal: Compatibility combined with wireless keyboard and easy to add options. The War on Drugs campaign certainly listened to those all inspiring words. This was proven when even the Jello man himself couldn't convince old school consumers to drink the statistically tastier New Coke. New Coke tampered with a century old formula that, despite falling market shares, still resonated soundly... 2. It’s why we’ve said in previous blog posts that “know thy audience” is the first commandment of content marketing. Soon after, they had to just undo it. They only differ in their scope: a tagline represents an entire business, while a slogan usually only represents a single product or is a part of a particular advertising campaign. Dove Body Lotion's Racial Faux Pas. Grown-ups didn't care for the new grown-up name of the fast food chain 'Monterey Jack's' so execs decided to switch it back to good ol' Jack in the Box, triggering happy emotions for all...except the guy who ordered 20,000 Monetary Jack business cards. Introducing Starbucks new blonde Espresso. Wang Cares? Then, they responded with an apology that happened to include the word ‘apology’ misspelled. https://www.bluleadz.com/blog/10-of-the-biggest-marketing-fails-of-2017 Admittedly, a campaign can flop by sheer bad luck. He ripped it off the rod. Airbnb launched their ‘floating world’ marketing campaign, which included an image of a water-themed house sitting on the surface of water. You're out, you get a number, you wait the appropriate amount of time to call and...'Hello Vespa dealership, how can we serve your transportation needs today?'. **Result: The spot shows a young boy talking with his mother about his dead father. Soon after the release of their new advertising campaign, Wang Computers received an increase in orders from Mr. Seymore Butts, Ms. Ivana Tinkle, and Mr. Harry Armand Bach. There's a lot of research to be done and a lot of creative manpower behind it. In fact, even the biggest, most recognizable brands make them. **Result: Coca-Cola drinkers will be given the chance to try the vintage beverage once more as part of a promotional campaign ... biggest marketing blunders of all time. He ripped it off the rod. Seems like advertisers in the UK took a lot of heat for a bunch of really bad marketing ideas in 2017! **Certainly making the list for annoying songs in a commercial, on top of that, clever in this case turns out to be just plain confusing that includes a person riding on top of a moving vehicle. When you’re running a campaign in a specific region, don’t forget that your messaging can (and in some cases, certainly will) be shared with markets in other parts of the world. Review your copy and take a hard look at your campaign in terms of current social context. It's happened to the best of us. Oops! Find me on: LinkedIn. Needless to say, many people were offended. Then, Dove got their hands dirty. Audi turned this idea on its head. Dove had a win with the positive body image “Real Beauty" campaign featuring real women in a positive light. The... 3. **Result: The first of our worst marketing campaigns for 2014 has to go to Malaysia Airlines, who at the center of 2 tragic lost airlines in 2014, should’ve been more conscious of their marketing. The cover took them on a magical mystery tour of disgust from fans and critics. Some of the most common reasons are that they aren't targeting the right personas, you didn't do enough research, you didn't have realistic goals, you created the wrong message, and you delivered content at the wrong time in the buyer's journey. **Result: However, it took me about 20 reads to make sense of this campaign and to work out what Starbucks were actually on about. **Result: Once dialed, the numbers lead to Vespa dealerships and customer service representatives happy to take your call! For others, it triggers emotions of delicious hamburgers and fun. 5 Best Marketing Campaigns Of All Time. Another Dove ad posted on Facebook was a four panel image showing a young African American woman removing her shirt over three panels. Obviously, this was interpreted as racially insensitive. The image depicted the back of a woman’s head with long, dark hair covering her white outfit. This is definitely one of those situations where you should take notes on another's mistakes. **Result: **The... 3. An ad for a game called Would You Rather? Despite its monumental impact on a company or product's success and profitability, there is no formula to developing a successful marketing campaign. The company is striving to help reinforce a positive body image for women. Customers who participated in the Boston Marathon in 2017 received a very poorly worded email from the major shoe and sports attire company. The ads were a failure, and for some, proved that cheap beer really must have no flavor if Budweiser was willing to spend all of this money protecting their image. **Result: The subject line simply read, "Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!". And these blunders can be incredibly costly. February 24, 2020 | In Nivea’s Middle East division, the company posted an ad for their “Invisible for Black and White” deodorant. New Coke. Goal: Create a billboard promoting the new White PSP. **For some, Jack-in-the-box triggers emotions of fear and terror while awaiting a tiny goblin/elf to explode up through a tiny box. While it's still the exact same product, it was a change in packaging along with an unpopular coming out party combined for the ol' one step forward, two steps back result. Rather than deciding on what their customers were thirsting for through expensive market research surveys, Jones Soda decided to find drink flavors at an unconventional location: farms. Remember, consumers aren’t stupid. Feb 07, 2019 8 min read. The most successful ads of all time have had the most diverse themes possible, ranging from silly humor and biting satire to pathos so well executed even the toughest people are reduced to tears. **Emerging studies show children were more likely to try illicit drugs after seeing anti-drug ads than if they had never seen an ad at all. Although come on. Company: Groupon **Through advertisements with Budweiser referees stealing back the stolen beer Miller Light referees had taken in their own commercials, Budweiser was playing right into the hands of Miller. hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(57042, '616a1807-468f-4269-8013-c9dc2e6aac0c', {}); Drive more leads and close more customers now with this free ebook. Sounds a bit like Wankers don’t you think? We've gathered together the most memorable marketing flops, follies and faux pas! It was reported Atari executives were seen smashing and rolling giant barrels of bananas down corporate headquarter steps. Maybe. In terms of marketing fails, this one got her and the department torched! **Woody Woodpecker. Fails like that are cringe-worthy and a strong reminder to make sure that you're partnering with influencers who align with your brand and double check their work. 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