Marketing enthusiasts everywhere always have the excitement to learn about things that have worked out; the success stories of how brands challenge the status quo. Here, I have listed out 5 stories which tells you some of the blunders made by some popular brands which, though has not made much of an impact to the company’s brand image, but has left a long-lasting impact to the minds of profound marketers.
1 Big Mac failure at Olympics
In the 1984 Olympic games, McDonalds came up with a promotional campaign in which the company provided free scratch cards to its consumers, who purchased any item from their outlet. These cards had the name of the Olympic event mentioned, and if US wins in that event, the person would get a free iteam from McDonald's. The prize was tiered as a Big Mac for gold, french fries for Silver and a free soft drink for Bronze. The motto of the campaign was "When the U.S. wins, you win!"
Turns out, the two biggest competitors of US, name Germany and Russia and .other communist countries did not play during that year. The US won 178 medals with 83 gold , which cost McDonald's heavily for their failed marketing campaign.
2 Pepsi: More think, less drink!
In 2017, Pepsi release an ad starring renowned celebrity Kendall Jenner. This ad showed protesters with random messages written on their protest boards marching across the street and a couple of police officers blocking their path. Jenner moves towards the police officer, offering him a bottle of Pepsi. This ad had a great backlash which became viral on social media. Pepsi had to pull back the ad, saying that the intension of the ad was to show peace and unity across diversity and wanted to keep the message generic.
3 The Crying Child
Pihu, a movie produced by Ronnie Screwvala and Siddharth Roy Kapur, had a unique and traumatizing tele-campaign that faced a huge backlash on Twitter. The plot is about a little girl who is stuck in an apartment and is left for herself after her mother's death. The campaign involved an anyonymous call to people where a little child wailed about her parents and screamed for help. This led to people tracing back the number and filing for police complaints. Many people went to social media "drawing" heavy criticism for the campaign.
4 The New Coke
Coke has enjoyed a really dominant position in the soft drink market for a long time, but as Pepsi started gaining its share of the market, it started being seen a red light. This led Coke to come up with a new formula, with a better taste and recipe. This led to the introduction of the New Coke, and the management were being pretty optimistic about it. And just the opposite turns out. This new drink was hated by the people to the extent that they stared protesting on the streets. The mangement could not handle the pressure well and gave in within 3 months.
5 Tata Nano with its nano-demand
Tata came up with an interesting product to cater to the lower income segment of the Indian market. With just a price point of $2400, the vision of this brand was to bring four-wheeler to every houehold in the country. Unfortunately, the brand fell because of its bad marketing. People in India aspire a car to be luxurious and expensive. At such a cheap price point, this car was seen more as a commodity, and hence the brand fell.
These experiences teach us how strongly people associate themselves with the brand and how essential it is to check for loopholes before starting any marketing campaign. To get more such insights about marketing and opportunity to interact with the leaders of the industry, do not forget to check out the Top marketers of India!