Marketing is an essential aspect of any business that aims to succeed in today's highly competitive marketplace. Companies spend billions of dollars every year on marketing campaigns to promote their products and services. However, not all marketing strategies are successful, and some can even be disastrous for a company's reputation and bottom line. In this blog, we will look at the top 10 failed marketing ideas that backfired on the companies that implemented them.
1. Pepsi's Kendall Jenner Ad: In 2017, Pepsi released an ad featuring Kendall Jenner, which depicted her joining a protest and bringing people together by handing a can of Pepsi to a police officer. The ad received backlash for trivializing social justice issues and using activism to sell soda. Pepsi pulled the ad and apologized for its insensitivity.
2. McDonald's #McDStories: In 2012, McDonald's launched a hashtag campaign called #McDStories, hoping to encourage customers to share their positive experiences with the brand. However, the campaign quickly backfired when people began using the hashtag to share negative stories about their experiences at McDonald's. The campaign was quickly shut down, but the damage had already been done.
3. Bic For Her Pens: In 2012, Bic launched a line of pens called "Bic For Her," which were essentially pink and purple pens marketed exclusively to women. The campaign received backlash for its sexist and patronizing tone and quickly became a joke on social media.
4. Kendall + Kylie's Vintage T-Shirt Line: In 2017, Kendall and Kylie Jenner launched a vintage t-shirt line featuring their faces and logos superimposed over images of iconic musicians like Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. The line was accused of exploiting black culture and quickly pulled from stores.
5. New Coke: In 1985, Coca-Cola launched a new formula called New Coke, hoping to compete with Pepsi's growing market share. However, fans of the original formula were outraged and boycotted the new product. Coca-Cola eventually brought back the original formula under the name Coca-Cola Classic.
6. JC Penney's Everyday Low Prices: In 2012, JC Penney announced a new pricing strategy, eliminating sales and coupons in favor of "everyday low prices." However, customers were confused by the new pricing strategy, and sales plummeted. JC Penney eventually returned to its previous pricing model.
7. Microsoft's Kin Phone: In 2010, Microsoft launched the Kin phone, targeting young people with a focus on social media integration. However, the phone was too expensive and had limited features compared to competitors like the iPhone. The Kin phone was discontinued after only two months on the market.
8. Facebook Beacon: In 2007, Facebook launched a controversial advertising program called Beacon, which tracked users' purchases and activities on third-party sites and shared that information with their Facebook friends. The program was criticized for invading users' privacy and was eventually shut down.
9. Nivea's "White is Purity" Ad: In 2017, Nivea released an ad featuring a woman with the tagline "White is purity." The ad was accused of promoting white supremacy and quickly pulled from circulation.
10. Google Glass: In 2013, Google launched Google Glass, a wearable computer that users could wear like glasses. However, the product was too expensive and had limited features, leading to poor sales. Google eventually discontinued the product.
In conclusion, these are just a few examples of failed marketing ideas that backfired on the companies that implemented them. These examples show that companies need to be careful when creating and executing marketing campaigns and should always consider the potential impact on their brand's reputation and bottom line.