Marketing campaigns are part of everyone’s lives. From the massive giants like Apple promoting their latest iPhones to an online entrepreneur asking you for 35 seconds of your time to promote his online investment course, marketing campaigns are omnipresent.
They are vital for the business’s survival regardless of its size. Companies pour millions of dollars every year to devise a strategy that effectively targets their consumer group and stands out from their competitors.
Creativity is an absolute must, and year on year, businesses try and outdo one another by trying something different. An example of a job well done would be Coca-Cola’s Christmas ad in 2020, a heartwarming and emotional masterpiece that was perfectly executed.
However, this is easier said than done. Even multinational corporations with budgets in the many millions have dropped the ball. Sometimes, ideas that are so sinister and egregious have escaped rigorous testing and been approved to be shown to the public.
Why do marketing campaigns fail?
Frankly, marketers lose track of who they are advertising to. When the goal is purely to be creative or unique rather than target the consumer base, mistakes are made.
Of course, standing out from the rest is vital in creating a good marketing campaign. However, there is a line in the sand; when being ostentatious is over prioritized, and the target audience is estranged.
A marketing campaign’s primary goal is to inform potential customers what needs of theirs the company’s service or product can fulfill, why the company can do it better than its competitors, and share its type and brand.
When the campaign forgets about this premise, disasters are bound to happen.
That being said, let’s take a look at some of the most significant advertisement flops to date and see how to avoid making the same errors in the future.
Beware: Laughably Terrible Advertisement Campaigns Ahead
Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi Debacle
This is an iconic and infamous advertisement. Pepsi launched a two and half minute advertisement called “Live for Now”. The advert featured 21-year-old supermodel Kendall Jenner leaving a photoshoot and showing up at a protest.
Tensions were growing between police and protestors until she stepped up to offer an officer a can of Pepsi. This fixed the issue.
The advertisement was branded as “tone-deaf”, and the backlash overgrew, forcing Pepsi to back down and pull the spot and issue an apology.
Dove’s blatantly racist Facebook Advertisement
Dove launched a Facebook ad campaign of the above four images. The four-panel image shows a young African American woman removing her shirt. By the time she has done, she has turned into a young white lady.
The disastrous advertisement shows up on Google as “Dove’s Racist Ad”.
To make matters worse, this was the second terrible advertising campaign launched by Dove in 2017, with them having to issue another apology after receiving intense criticism on social media as well as bad reviews on their product.
Volkswagen lies again?
An ongoing disaster, Volkswagen had decided to play a prank for April Fools this year. Volkswagen America changed its name to “Voltswagen”, implying that it sells electric vehicles.
Not too long ago, Volkswagen was caught in the carbon emission scandal; they lied about how much carbon their diesel cars emitted.
Now, this publicity stunt seems like they are lying about producing electric vehicles. Moreover, VW lied to reporters in a situation where simply saying “no comment” would have been sufficient.
Now, talks of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cracking down on them, and it looks like Volkswagen is April’s fool.
Wix Slaps Itself
Wix recently launched an attack ad campaign against its competitor, WordPress. This advert portrayed WordPress in an extremely negative light in the context of a web developer seeking help for a mental health crisis.
Almost instantly, Wix received backlash for their distasteful and insensitive ad. With so many people around the world suffering from mental health issues, especially due to the ongoing pandemic, it seemed like a very poor decision by Wix to greenlight a campaign like this.
This ad campaign has received and is continuing to receive a lot of criticism over social media and is sure to be one that Wix regrets.
How to Avoid Marketing Disasters
Let’s find some nuggets of wisdom from the abysmal foolishness above and learn how NOT to make these mistakes.
Don’t ever lose touch
As you can see above, Pepsi lost touch with its audience. They came across as tone-deaf. Remember to consider the implications of the marketing campaign. Even when making jokes, remember that to take into consideration other perspectives and angles.
By sacrificing your brand value for a few jokes, you may risk offending your audience. Insensitivity and tastelessness can quickly alienate the audience and result in a marketing disaster.
Keep current affairs in mind
Marketing campaigns take a long time to plan and execute. They require extensive testing, planning, and, for larger companies, a lot of red tapes. This makes it easy to overlook what is ongoing in the real world.
A campaign that may have been acceptable a few months ago may no longer be so. If the marketing campaign aims to educate consumers about a situation, it needs to understand the issue and its implications genuinely.
Constantly review the campaign and ensure that it is up to date with current events.
How to create a good marketing campaign
If you are running your own business or part of a giant corporation, you understand the need for marketing. It can be an absolute nightmare to navigate the inner working of creating a successful campaign. What would help alleviate this would be someone who could take this burden off your hands.
MIU offers a range of marketing services that will help your company successfully launch and maintain a marketing campaign. With experience and skills, the disasters mentioned above can be avoided with our help.
Feel free to contact us for a free digital audit or check out MIU’s website to learn more about how we can help you.