Have you ever seen a commercial or a print ad and wondered what the marketing team was thinking?

If you’re sure you don’t want that to happen to you but aren’t sure how to avoid it, you’ve come to the right place. Using these tips, you’ll be able to create an en-pointe campaign to get the results your company needs.

We’ve got the ultimate list of bad marketing examples right here.  

Tattoo Campaigns

In 2018, Domino’s Pizza ran a tattoo marketing campaign in Russia. They promised to give free pizza for life if people got a Domino’s tattoo.  They quickly had to scale back their offers when they had an overwhelming response.

The brand added qualifiers like tattoos must be at least 2″ in length, must be on a prominent body part (they provided a chart defining “prominent”), and only the first 350 submissions will be accepted.

GAP’s Logo Problem

GAP launched a new brand logo in 2010 that their customers hated. It was met with such derision they reversed their decision a short time later.

While the brand hoped to update its public image from classic American style to something more modern and sexy, the marketing move didn’t work.

Pepsi Problems

In April 2017, Pepsi ran an ad for one day that showed Kendall Jenner giving a Pepsi to a police officer supervising a generic protest. The phrase “Jump In” tried to encourage unity and peace.

The brand fell to a ten-year low in sales because of the criticism they received after the ad. The public shared photos that showed similar actions by members of Black Lives Matter protests. The protesters were met with violence rather than smiles and appreciation.

Pepsi apologized for trivializing real-life social justice problems, but the damage was done.

Dove’s Racist Ad

In October of 2017, Dove ran a short video on Facebook, showing a black woman turning into a white woman. The racist ad brought them all kinds of criticism. The brand usually makes it a point to include women of all colors, shapes, and sizes in their marketing under their “Real Beauty” campaign.  But someone didn’t think this one through. 

Early in the decade, Dove ran another racist ad, which critics were quick to point out. Bad marketing techniques can influence a company’s public image more than a hundred right marketing moves.

More Bad Marketing

Although the H&M brand has been around since the 1940s, they didn’t act like a veteran in the marketing world with their racist 2018 advertisement. In January of that year, they ran an ad showing a black boy modeling a jungle-green sweatshirt with the message “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.”

Accused of neo-colonialist messages and sparking violence and vandalism worldwide, H&M quickly pulled the ad and issued an apology. 

Don’t Fall Into a Bad Marketing Trap

Just how do you avoid making bad headlines? Run your marketing campaigns through a filter of trusted advisors.  Make sure your team is diverse from gender to race to age to life experience.  They will help you see your marketing through a different lens. 

Ready to get started? Book a free virtual consulting call today to discuss your next marketing move!