Try as they may, every year, a handful of marketers just can't avoid rolling out completely terrible ad campaigns. Whether a tone-deaf message or ads with glaring racist slants, such gaffes are not necessarily reserved for smaller marketer with little to no creative counsel. As showed, this sort of thing can just as easily happen to big name brands with huge budgets.
As the year winds down, we look back at some of the most cringe-worthy ads by marketers that should have frankly known better. It's not all grim, check out the Best Ads of here. It's been a rough couple of years for the German auto maker post its emission scandal, and the company seems to have lost not just its credibility, but also its creativity. You probably haven't seen a more literal ad on your TV screens this year, with a couple expanding the size of their car as they expand their family.
As the family grows, the Beetle gets swapped out for progressively bigger cars, including the Jetta and the Atlas. No points for creativity for this one.
But it seems that even the best and the brightest run out of original ideas sometimes. The streaming giant thought it could take a page out of Spotify's playbook, using its viewership data to fuel a quirky marketing campaign on Twitter for the holiday season.
Except, it totally backfired and people thought it was rather creepy. Some people may champion brands taking potshots at their competitors, but it's unimaginative, and frankly, comes off as lazy.
Sprint has emerged as the king of such ads in recent years, relentlessly taking digs at Verizon. But its marketing was no saving grace either, and was in fact what kickstarted the downfall. Within a few hours, the hashtag DeleteUber had gathered steam and people had started removing the app from their phones. Uber issued an apology and its ousted former CEO Travis Kalanick detailed the company's stance on immigration.
But the company didn't take any further steps to support its position. Adidas came under fire earlier this year for perhaps the most poorly worded marketing email in history. Adidas tried to make amends by sending out an apology email to the recipients of the original email. You've heard of clickbait. But Chinese sneaker manufacturer Kaiwei Ni took things to the next level and introduced audiences to scrollbait. The ad was designed to look as if there was a stray hair in the middle of your phone screen, with its aim being to trick Instagram users into swiping up on it and ending up on the brand's website by accident.Sam obsesses over three things in life: Animals, Films and Marketing.
We may have over exaggerated his love for marketing.
Worst ads of 2017 (so far)
Have you ever seen an advert that has left you scratching your head? Advertising can often be very hit or miss depending on the target audience and the marketing team in charge. Sometimes marketing departments can hit the nail on the head and deliver an incredible marketing campaign to impress their client and boost sales.
Other times, marketing departments can get it completely wrong and produce terrible adverts that cause a lot of controversies, often resulting in a boycott and loss of sales. Over the decades, there have been multiple examples of companies delivering terrible campaigns that have been talked about for all the wrong reasons. These whoopsies can affect any company no matter how big or small and have lasting impressions.
In no particular order, here are the top most controversial ads from the past decade, including some controversial ads that worked! The Ad: Starting off our list is this beach body ad campaign by health supplement supplier Protein World.
The idea was to promote their supplements to users who wanted the perfect beach body for summer. However, the ad quickly received plenty of backlash via social media and even resulted in many passersby vandalising and writing over the ad.
Despite the backlash from the public the ad received a lot of publicity and press coverage. The Ad: The ad in question, that you can watch above looks pretty harmless and normal as far as commercials go. In a series of events and short ads he ends up playing table tennis with Arnold Schwarzenegger at a OneRepublic concert like you do. No violence, no swearing, no nudity. What could possibly be controversial about this ad? Instead, it was the overall premise of the ad campaign, especially with the hashtag upforwhatever.
In the end, Bud Light apologized and pulled the entire campaign. The campaign features a range of world leaders kissing, including the likes of Obama, Merkel, and Sarkozy. The ad ran across many countries on large billboards during its launch which as you can imagine caused a lot of raised eyebrows. The Problem: Controversy for this ad campaign arose in many different ways. The first was the use of world leaders without their consent. In fact, one of the ads features Pope Benedict XVI kissing a top Egyptian imam which was quickly removed after being condemned by the Vatican.
The ads were met with so much backlash that some people started to tear the ads down themselves. Despite the backlash, Benetton never withdrew or apologised for the campaign and even went on to win the prestigious Cannes ad festival award. This ad was no different and featured celebrity fashion icon, Kendall Jenner. Released inthe ad which you can watch above shows Kendall joining a protest outside after removing her black wig and makeup.
She then proceeds to give a can of Pepsi to a police officer during a stand-off who then smiles and the crowd cheers. Kendall Jenner has saved the day, all thanks to Pepsi! The Problem: During the time the advert was released, there were many protests and riots taking place in America over the BlackLivesMatter campaign. Within 24 hours of releasing the ad, Pepsi faced a lot of criticism from online users over the ad and had to release an official statement while also pulling the ad.
The Ad: Nivea is a German skincare brand that is known for manufacturing antiperspirants, face creams, and plenty of other cosmetics. The ad featured a woman wearing a white top while looking out the window with the slogan in bold blue letters.Still, it remains a medium like no other—one that most purely distills the expression of an idea down to the writing and art direction, and one whose seeming limitations can make breakthrough executions feel that much more unexpected and delightful.
Below, check out seven print campaigns from that restored our faith in the creativity of the medium. In the social media age, where people can find out information about your brand quite easily, you have to be a little bit more real. You embrace your imperfections. You have more of a sense of humor about your corporate image. Bean memorably to life with a clever newspaper ad that could only be read outdoors. The ad was made with photochromic ink, which is colorless indoors but turns different colors when exposed to ultraviolet light, usually from the sun or a black light.
The execution perfectly embodied the brand promise—in other words, the medium was the message. Another fun magazine stunt saw Toyota place a very cool ad in The Fader —a flip book style animation, running across 30 consecutive editorial pages, that showed the C-HR vehicle spinning around the page numbers and driving off the page, leaving a fuchsia trail behind it.
It felt very in line with the aesthetic. Continue Reading. Pages: 1 2. Ads of the Year. By Tim Nudd. Tim Nudd nudd. Adweek Adweek.
Recommended articles. Life in Quarantine. TV Upfronts.Whenever you read the ASA has received a certain amount of complains then you know it is something good — or at least entertaining. Which is what inspired this list. This Costa Rican brewer Republica Parrillera Pilsen excelled themselves when they decided to push drinking beer with eating sausages.
What a great combination — except the sausage is positioned on the billboard like an enormous… erection. The billboard looks very enticing from the front, but from the back?
Well, hello! This is the perfect example of a logo fail — did the designer not see what was depicted? Unsurprisingly, they got a backlash for it. The Manchester-based supermarket quickly released an apology but the damage had already been done.
Even big brands can make blunders. A German gentleman had the misfortune or fortune? This happened because the company let the website expire and then an even saucier organisation bought the domain name. See what I did there? We bet the IHOP community manager learned their lesson after twitting this attempted joke.
Needless to say, it upset quite a few people. Eventually, the message was removed, but after hours of no reaction from the company. The Bud Light slogan was one of the biggest marketing gaffs in terms of ignorance and attitudes towards rape.
How anyone could have written these words and not seen the implications is beyond me. The product was backed up by a Twitter marketing campaign entitled UpforWhatever. Surely someone at Budweiser would have realised this campaign was going to be doomed from the beginning. This was seen in many online social media forums as encouraging a bit of festive date rape. Merry Christmas! Nice, Bloomingdales is Bill Cosby writing your ad copy now?
Back inin the midst of an immigrant crisis, the marketing team at Paddy Power thought it would be a good idea to release an ad with British athletes born overseas and Andy Murray? To add insult to injury, the image was used on lorries which are often linked to the transportation of immigrants. The betting site is known for its racy advertisements but for many, this one crossed the line. As seasoned professionals at the top of the marketing game, you might think that Coca-Cola would have a team of people ready to make sure everything the brand sends out is spotless.Mark Duffy has written the Copyranter blog for 11 years and is a freelancing copywriter with plus years of experience.
His hockey wrist shot is better than yours. There have been so, so, so … so many, not just bad ads, but insultingly horrible ads.
Anyway, here are the bottom eight. Maybe one of your eardrums would burst! Maybe not. Who knows? Brilliant and classy. Image: Best Ads on TV. And we need it to feel realer.
Agency: Duncan Channon, San Francisco. Bud Light just launched in the U. These are two of the campaign executions. This campaign was awful right from the get-go, and it somehow keeps getting worse.
The right ad above is really something. Just Smartwater. Is there any connection between the product and the show? Roll again. We need to lay on heavy guilt to get stupid, stubborn male smokers to notice. Hey, the second spot should be her changing the oil and getting oil all over her face. Right now, direct-to-consumer startups have to hope for the best but prepare for the worst, and nowhere is that more evident than within their brick-and-mortar divisions.
Road warriors across industries are grappling with the new norms of their day-to-day lives -- making the most of minute video chats rather than bonding over lengthy dinners; traveling from the bedroom to the office rather than earning frequent flyer miles.
Confronted with one of the greatest health and economic crises of the modern era, the consumer search for reputable news sources has shifted to a higher gear. JPMorgan Chase is holding its ad budget steady — and that includes its wealth management division. It features videos of its real wealth advisors working from home. The spot is running on more […]. Brands in Culture.
May 5, by Mark Duffy. I need a shower and vodka. Most Read. Coronavirus Fallout.And sometimes, desperately fighting for customer recognition and attention in the age of ads everywhere—on your computer, on your TV screen, in the mail, and even on the street—can have otherwise qualified advertisers turning to senseless and hurtful marketing techniques. At the beginning of AprilPepsi debuted an ad depicting Kendall Jenner in the middle of a photoshoot when she spots a protest happening in the middle of the street.Powerful And Creative Print Ads That’ll Make You Look Twice
Beckoned by a nod from a passing protestor, she whips off her wig to join in. Pepsi mistook social justice movements for opportunities to sell soda, which is pretty disrespectful to the people who have suffered and sacrificed for the sake of protest and change. Wanting to lend a helping hand for social change is good. Using serious social issues to sell a product is insensitive and insulting.
For women? For men? And for victims of date rape? Absolutely horrifying.
25 of the worst marketing fails in recent years
Are those implications good or bad? To not do so is irresponsible marketing. In Airbnb was angry about a hotel tax policy that meant Airbnb hosts and guests had to pay a lot of money in taxes. Not classifying themselves as a hotel service, the company was understandably angry.
Then, in the most passive aggressive advertising campaign ever, Airbnb put up ads all around San Francisco suggesting what the city should do with all that Airbnb tax money. A few reasons: 1 No one cared who Herb was.
The 10 worst ads of 2017
No one really knew. Oh, and be very, very clear about contest age restrictions. Yes, Pepsi again. The problem? Pepsi announced the wrong code. So instead of 1 winning bottle cap, there were suddenlywinning bottle caps. Pepsi refused to pay; outrage ensued. They were from Fiat, the car company. We are not actually stalking you. Was it just a huge coincidence? Stay alert for symbolism that might be—whether intentionally or unintentionally—depicted by the words or images in your ad. The fact that it was accidental made Panasonic look even worse.Angela's Beauty (13) Scratched 5.
Tiza (1) Scratched 4. Seething Jackal (3) Scratched 4. Misscino (11) Scratched 5. Shamar (10) Scratched 5. Lara Lad (4) 4. King Mapoora (7) Scratched 1. Slalom (4) Scratched 2. Fontein Flyer (10) Scratched 14. Poolside Hamilton (4) 13.
Moonlight Ruby (3) 9. She's Not Wanted (2) 2. Miss Procyon (6) 1. Princess Anacheeva (11) Scratched 2.
Press Release (1) 1. Stella Ardens (8) 11. Saint Helena (14) 8. Ticket to Fly (1) 7. Komachi Force (9) 1. Golden Words (13) 8. Pay the Ones (6) 2. Emerald Ice (7) 5. Upper House (5) 3. Magic Word (5) 2. Ticked Off (11) 8. Loyal Toast (10) 1. Miss Liffey (7) 3. Endless Sizzle (2) 1. Rosie's Tiara (4) 1. Music Scene (6) 5. Bold Shot (7) 6. Bubbaleenah (6) Scratched 2.