Ad campaign bloopers

5 Famous Ad Campaigns That Actually Hurt Sales – Cracked.com

  • Taco Bell: “For a chain whose biggest problem is convincing customers that their beef is graded for human consumption, it’s bizarre that it thought the best selling point was, “Don’t worry, this tiny dog loves it!””
  • Energizer: “Duracell claimed that 40 percent of its customers thought the campaign was promoting Duracell, not Energizer. Consumers were connecting “battery” and “bunny,” but at no point were they connecting “bunny” and “Energizer.””
  • California Raisins: “While lots of media and advertising moguls filled their pockets on the Raisins’ success, actual raisin farmers themselves never got anything. This is because it was the Raisin Board’s policy to reinvest any and all profits right back into the advertising.” Sounds a bit like law suits and lawyers, doesn’t it?
  • Alka-Seltzer: “people just assumed the spot was advertising meat sauce. Alka-Seltzer’s sales shrunk while numerous pasta sauces began flying off the shelves instead.”
  • Dove: “digital artist Pascal Dangin admitted to The New Yorker that he had actively manipulated all of the print advertisements in the Dove campaign, which as you may remember was completely centered around the notion that all of its models were being presented makeup- and Photoshop-free.” Well, everyone does this nowadays, for no real reason at all. Just check out PSD- Photoshop Disasters.

Most of the above indicate the sensitive art of making the ad connect to the product being sold.

A self-experienced marketing disaster: I worked for a company based in Sweden that had all its marketing staff in USA. I’m sure you can begin to see the possible conflicts and communication issues this could cause, and it did. After the marketing department had burned tons of money on products that nobody wanted (before and after), and they couldn’t even account for the costs (book-keeping anyone?), the marketing director was fired. I wasn’t too sad about that, considering the same marketing director had refused to promote the products I was responsible for, “as they were unsellable”. Poetic justice?