Marketing can be hard. Sometimes people don’t realise their idea is terrible or someone might stuff it up by not taking all factors into account. Here are some of our favourite marketing fails….
The Vodafone Streakers
In 2002 someone at Vodafone should’ve known that hiring 2 blokes to streak at the Bledisloe Cup wearing nothing but Vodafone logos would be a bad idea. It turns out that interrupting a rugby match between Australia & New Zealand by way of running around nude is in fact illegal.
It seems that Vodafone did get some reputation management advice because one of the CEOs apologised & Vodafone donated $30,000 to a charity to help prevent youth sports injuries. We’re still talking about it, so I guess that Vodafone got the extra (I’m sorry, but I have to do this) exposure they were looking for.
LG’s “G in the Cloud” Disaster
LG makes Android phones, so what better way to promote their newest phone than to put vouchers for free phones in balloons and let them soar where they may?
The problem is that some spectators thought they’d be clever and shoot down the balloons to claim the vouchers for themselves. Thankfully no one died, but over a dozen spectators were injured. LG offered to pay all medical expenses & since the “G in the Cloud” event was such a disaster they’ve had to cancel all future events bearing the name.
Bavaria Beer & the 2010 World Cup
We love guerrilla marketing. It’s a creative way to make the public a part of the story. At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, a Dutch beer company thought they’d do a little guerrilla marketing of their own at the Budweiser sponsored event. 36 women wore the beer’s mini skirts under their clothes and at the same time stripped down to the familiar orange miniskirt in an effort to gain some cheap exposure for the beer.
Budweiser didn’t like having their exclusive advertising rights infringed upon and FIFA detained all of the women and 2 who were suspected of organising the stunt were arrested.
Ultimately the 2 women were released & Bavaria Beer have agreed to not pull any more stunts at any FIFA events until the end of 2022. Why 2022? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Do you know of any interesting marketing fails? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
You can also take a look at part 2 of the marketing fails series on Australian PR Disasters!