In the era of social media, it is even more important that businesses are careful with their word choices and image usage. Whether it is through billboards, magazine ads, flyer mailing, or even as simple as a tweet, businesses can easily come into fire for controversial, sexist or racist messages. Even if there aren’t any negative intentions involved, once a mistake has been shared thousands or millions of times over social media, the entire world will be negatively looking to that business. For flyer mailing and other media, once an advertisement is released there is no turning back. It is important to critically look at every message, ensuring it best represents the business’s brand and ideologies.
Here are some of 2016’s biggest marketing failures.
- Bloomingdale’s “spike your best friends egg nogg when they aren’t looking” magazine ad, which featured a man staring at a woman unaware of his gaze.
- Target’s OCD (Obsessive Christmas Disorder) sweater, which many found to be insensitive of this serious mental illness.
- McDonald’s “Boston Strong” billboard had many customers feeling the business was trying to capitalize on the tragic event.
- Bud Light printed on a new Bud Light bottles “the perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night”.
- Miracle Mattress’ decision for a “Twin Towers” sale which depicted a video of two mattress stacks being pushed over, received a lot of criticism.