In life we all make mistakes, we all know that, however some are more colossal than others. When it comes to marketing and advertising your business those mistakes can be pretty costly and quite harmful to your brand’s image, but on a plus side they can pretty darn funny!
Here are some of the biggest marketing fails we have seen, some will make you shake your head in wonder and disbelief, some will make you chuckle, and some will make you think thank god I wasn’t responsible for that!
In at number 1, Sheet Energy Strips
Sheet is a company that provides little dissolvable sheets that you put on your tongue which give you energy. A very big and popular product amongst famous sports stars and musicians, a product to rival the very popular energy drinks market. So you would think for their big billboard campaign they would use one of their celebrity endorsements, or some very cool Nike esque speedy action shots of one of their famous sport stars, e.g. “David Beckham I can’t play without it.” But no they went for…
Yes that’s right the copywriter came up with the line, “I take a sheet in the pool.” Which is just fantastic. This advertisement is either marketing genius or just a quite monumental fail. If the marketers have thought let’s go with this as it will grab people’s attention and will go viral as a ‘look at this mistake’ then they could be geniuses, but the chances are that is not true and it is quite a big costly and messy mistake. Right then onto number 2, (pun intended)
Number 2, La Redoute
The stylish trendy French fashion chain made quite a big splash when they released their new collection of clothes, a bigger and stranger splash than they had hoped. They released a catalogue of their new exciting range which they sent to all their customers, along with updating their website with all the new lovely garments and lovely imagery. However the devil is in the detail, and the devil in this story is not wearing any clothes and lurking in the back of your photos…
So the moral of this story is to always check that there is not a naked Frenchman or any nationality for that matter in the background of your photos.
Number 3, Daily Mirror
There is now lots of money being spent on the phycology behind products and product placement with big brands. What height are women most likely to look at on the shelf? What colour packaging is most likely to attract the male eye? When it comes to supermarkets thousands is put into this, they tend to start with the fresher items by the doors, your fruit, veg and flowers, to give off a healthy clean image. Then your more confectionary items nearer the tills as they are more of an impulse buy. Unfortunately for ASDA this very careful approach to placement was not taken by the designers at the Daily Mirror newspaper…
Number 4, Susan Boyle
Now like one of our previous posts this could be absolute genius from her marketing team, or it could be a very unfortunate mix of letters. Susan Boyle took the nation and world by storm with her beautiful sing song on one of those extremely popular singing contests, it was either X-factor, Britain’s ran out of talent, or I’m Simon Cowell how much money can you make me. One of or all of the above we can’t remember. So when her eagerly awaited album came out, her and her team wanted to have a launch party. They took to twitter to advertise this party but unfortunately the hashtag they used to promote it didn’t quite get the targeted party attendees they were after…
So is this marketing genius with the #sus anal bum party? Or is it an unfortunate mistake and actually promoting #susan album party? You decide.
Number 5, Starbucks
This marketing fail is slightly unfortunate for the company in question. Starbucks have had pretty bad press in the last couple of months over here in the UK and this one almost feels like a Banksy style dig at the brand but it turns out it is just one of their vans making a delivery…
We are sure there will not be an overwhelming amount of sympathy for this one.
Number 6, Turkish Airlines
When it comes to airlines, airports and aeroplanes then there are certain things and subjects that marketers need to keep well away from. We all know this and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure these out, but the Turkish Airlines promotion in this airport could of been changed slightly to make the travelers a bit more at ease with their up and coming journey…
Even for the most frequent of flyers this might make them a little nervy.
Number 7, Work Safe
This is more about placement rather than execution, and unfortunately Work Safe couldn’t of done much about it. Work Safe is a company that deals with safety at the workplace, whether it be kit or insurance. They produced a rather powerful and heart felt campaign which was placed up on big billboards around Australia. Unfortunately for Work Safe you don’t know what advertisements are going to go up in front, around or behind your billboard…
The advertising line of “Where’s daddy?” is rather taken out of context when you see the advertising billboard behind for the lap dancing club Spearmint Rhino.
Number 8, Wildrose
Now politicians are quite well know for making mistakes particularly in the UK, whether it be claiming for a moat or punching and egger in the face, they are prone to one every now and again. Wildrose are a political party in Canada who have a leader called Danielle Smith and with the elections coming up they decide to get some big political party buses up and running to promote her and the party. However I am not sure this is the kind of thing she would have wanted…
Not particularly what you want when you are trying to get people to take you seriously in what can be a very male dominated environment.
Number 9, Pepsi
Breaking another International market can be very tricky and have many pitfalls and unfortunately for Pepsi they fell in one. They were trying to break into the Chinese market with their brand and they launched with the slogan “Pepsi brings you back to life” Unfortunately they had some difficulties with the translation department as they ended up running a campaign in China with the slogan “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave” Not quite what they were intending.
Last but not least number 10
Now as we are a mobile marketing company we thought we better put a mobile one in there for you. We cant quite make out who this fantastic mistake belongs to but well done Sir. The QR code is a relatively new device for marketers, it gives the viewers a chance to scan a code with their phone and be taken to a place of the marketer’s wish. So a very powerful tool if used correctly…
Not only is this QR code asking for trouble being placed on the other side of a tube train track making it virtually impossible to scan unless you have the arms of Mr. Tickle, but also it is underground, you barely get phone signal let alone internet signal which is what the QR code needs.
So there it is, our list of incredible marketing fails for you to share amongst your colleagues and say “Thank god we didn’t do that!”