Marketing bloopers that people can learn something from
The world of marketing is chock-full of stellar campaigns that leave us speechless with their sheer scope and inspire us with their creativity. Enthusiasts know of many brands that have advertised themselves/ their services in ways so clever, they leave us wondering how a human mind could conceptualize something like this. That being said, just with everything else in the world, there is always a flipside to things. In the marketing world, this comes in the form of bloopers and blunders so funny that it would have you ROFLing for hours.
Listed below are 4 of our favourite bloopers that can also impart a valuable lesson or two in the context of how (and how not to) market your brand/ product!
1. The new but not-so-improved Coca Cola
In the year 1985, Pepsi entered the market and started to pose a huge threat to Coca Cola. People at the time started leaning towards Pepsi for its taste. In response to this, Coca Cola decided to sweeten their drink to woo consumers towards them. Unfortunately for them, this sweet stunt backfired as people simply did not like it and started opting for Pepsi even more. Consumers were unhappy that Coca Cola changed, which is a sentiment they couldn’t get behind in relation to the American way of life where some things should always stay the same. The lesson we can learn from this incident is that if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it. Sometimes it’s better to leave things untouched.
2. Everybody gets chicken! Except for KFC
I’m sure most of us have seen the famous clip from the Oprah Winfrey show with the famous monologue – “you get a car! You get a car! Everybody gets a car!”. KFC’s marketing plan ended up being a replication of this, but in a way that backfired the brand bigtime. To leverage the popularity of Oprah, KFC decided to give Oprah viewers a free coupon for a 2 piece chicken meal that would also come with 2 sides and a biscuit. Unfortunately for KFC, they simply did not take into account how many people love Oprah. Because nearly 11 million coupons were downloaded, leading to $42 million worth of food being redeemed by people for free. The most clear lesson learnt from this is to avoid giving away freebies until you know for sure that it won’t spiral out of control.
3. Pepsi can solve everything! …not really Pepsi’s main aim behind their commercial with Kendal Jelnner was to show it as a drink that brought people together to child out amidst the chaos that reigns around the world. The way they showed this was by placing Kendal Jenner in the middle of a protest where she tries to settle a standoff between protestors and the police by offering them a bottle of Pepsi. Suffice to say, the commercial was ridiculed on social media for not only overestimating the importance of Pepsi but also downplaying the several social issues depicted in the ad such as fighting for one’s right, police brutality, and so on. The glaring lesson we can all understand from this is to never showcase your brand/ product as a messiah or saviour. It is ultimately just a small and possibly dispensable part of people’s lives, not something that people cannot breathe without. It really helps to adopt a mindset of humility and approach your marketing following that same belief system.
4. New colour, same PlayStation Portable
In an effort to hype up people for the new white coloured PlayStation Portable, Sony for some reason decided to draw parallels with human skin tones. Their ad shows a pale skinned woman grabbing a dusy/ dark skinned woman by the cheeks, almost in a way that makes the former dominate over the latter. This ad had very clear and very very wrong implications. It made people immediately think of the dark days of imperialism and slavery, where such acts would be seen as a way of imposing the superiority of lighter skinned people over those who were duskier/ darker skinned. The lesson from this? No matter what, it is not okay to use human skin tones to correlate product colours. It can come off as completely repelling. Because no matter how nice a new coloured product is, the product itself is still the same and cannot be positioned as superior. Because ultimately, colour is very subjective and is favoured by different people in different capacities.
Mistakes are a part and parcel of anything you do, including advertising your business. Having said that, opting for an agency like Team Pumpkin to handle your marketing efforts can significantly eliminate the risks of such blunders occurring.