Marketing is one of the most important activities of a company. It influences the number of consumers, sales and profit. Many of the modern companies invest more and more in marketing campaigns. Some of them have specific departments who are in charge of that.
When you’re running a marketing department, you need to know your targeted audience. A successful campaign is based on proper research and it can increase your sales, but what happens if it’s not going well? Imagine yourself outside having to pee and everything’s cool until the mighty wind strikes you from dead ahead, gets you all wet and then everybody starts laughing. The same thing can happen in marketing. It’s either you’re more popular or become the laughing stock.
Here are some examples of marketing gone wrong:
We’ve all tried it. They’ve come up with a fruity drink called Pavian, probably trying to associate themselves with the French water company, Evian. Nothing wrong about that. Odd or not, this drink wasn’t too successful in Germany. In German, the word pavian means…baboon. “hey you wanna go drink a baboon?” -mmm…yeah, I think I’ll pass.
The British branch of the American computer company, Wang, refused to use their slogan “Wang cares” in the UK. Many people would ask why is this a mistake. When you say it faster it sounds almost like “wankers” which we all know what it means. Try it!
In 2007 they had an interesting campaign for promoting one of their cartoons by placing LED signs throughout the city. Everything went well until people’s paranoia came into action. One guy from Boston thought they were bombs so he called the authorities. They immediately closed some transport lines, roads and institutions which cost the city loads of money. As a result, the head of the Cartoon Network was looking for a job and the network had to pay 2 million dollars. To be honest, I think that guy should have got a free eye check and a visit to a hospital for special people.
Pepsi wanted to expand to China and they came up with a slogan “Pepsi brings you back to life”. Little did they know that the phrase was translated in Chinese as “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave”.
With people starting to choose Pepsi over Coke, in ’85 Coca-Cola tried to launch a sweeter version (like the old one didn’t have enough sugar already). The reaction of the public wasn’t good at all. They didn’t like it because they associated the true traditional taste with the US. I wonder how will they react if somebody will change the Happy Meal.
This is one of the biggest mistakes in the marketing history. The company that sold vacuum cleaners tried to enter the British market with an outstanding offer. With every product bought, they will give away plane tickets. Smart? Absolutely not. You don’t have to be a genius to see that the tickets were more expensive than the product. They spent 72 mil dollars on plane tickets with 365000 people still waiting. Of course, this case went in court and 3 big European heads of the company got fired.
In 2002 they had to recall all the runners Umbro Zyklon for the “simple” reason that Zyklon was the gas used by the Nazis to kill the Jews in Auschwitz’s concentration camps.
They had to change the name of their car Silver Mist into Silver Shadow because mist in German means trash. I don’t see anybody to excited to drive a Silver Trash. The same problem encountered by a liquor named Irish Mist.
The Swedish company launched their vacuum cleaners in the UK with the slogan: “nothing sucks like an Electrolux”. If you take it literally, maybe it makes sense, but we all know what the term “sucks” stands for. Nobody wants to buy a product that “sucks”
Here are some more illustrated fails:
I dare you!
Take a what now? i think i’ll skip swimming.
My trust in humanity is gone!
Not being racist at all.
Good to know! Also free burritos last year.
We also sell small round orange things. They are on the NoBrainCell line.
Anybody for some noodle soup? the all new Caribbean flavor!
Because math is not for everybody!
As an advice, before you launch a marketing campaign make sure that your people did their homework and research so you won’t have to suffer afterwards
The author of this post works with Digitech Control Pvt Ltd. The post will appear as written by Digitechcontrol.
Digitechcontrol is an IT consulting and Digital Marketing firm. Our Blogs are targets latest trend or questions in the industry and the answers/writings are based on research and case study done in that area.