Epic Marketing Fails: Providing a Laugh and a Lesson (Part Three of Three)

FAIL #5: Coca-Cola trashes more than its image

Marketing fail, marketing lesson

Image source: http://www.searchinfluence.com/2012/04/memorable-marketing-fails/

As a sponsor for the NCAA Final Four, Coca-Cola thought it would be a good idea to graffiti its logo all along the French Quarter of New Orleans where the games were being hosted the weekend of March 30, 2012. Unfortunately, Coke soon learned that residents weren’t so receptive to their creative form of advertising. Their Twitter feed quickly began to explode with complaints from individuals who felt Coke had defaced their neighborhood. Receiving tweets like “way to trash our city,” from infuriated followers, Coke was forced to clean up the graffiti and apologize to residents of the city.

Lesson to be learned: Anticipate the fallout of your message.

Many companies favor using guerilla marketing techniques, which can have some hefty consequences if executed incorrectly. It’s best to make sure your idea won’t cause anyone or anything any kind of harm.


FINAL TAKE-AWAY: Be strategic in your approach

You may be wondering at this point, what were these companies thinking? Well, as we all know, sometimes marketing campaigns get rushed. We may not have as much time to think our campaigns through as we’d like and mistakes can happen. However, it seems crazy to not give a campaign a critical review before putting it out for the masses. They call it strategic communication for a reason. Before you move a piece during a chess game, shouldn’t you think about all of the possible outcomes? Doesn’t it make sense that marketing be approached the same way? Before we make a marketing move, it would probably work best in our favor if we thought about all the possible outcomes.

Like a game of chess, too, we can learn from bad moves that ourselves and others have made. Hopefully this blog series has provided you with some good examples of moves not to make. Who knows? Perhaps having read this will someday save you from making that one bad move that would have put your company on a list like this one.

Are there any other interesting marketing/advertising fails that you can think of? Any creative marketing successes you can think of? Please share your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you!

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