THE TOP 7 POOREST MARKETING CAMPAIGN EXAMPLES THAT WENT BAD

Find below some the top 7 poorest marketing examples that went bad. Some of the worst marketing campaigns that received public backlash and damaged brands’ reputation.

Curated by Mau, a Senior Digital Marketing Specialist at eDigital.

THE TOP 7 POOREST MARKETING CAMPAIGN EXAMPLES THAT WENT BAD

7. Krispy Kreme “Coongrats” ad

Krispy Kreme coongrats racist ad

Krispy Kreme coongrats racist ad

Krispy Kreme came under fire over a marketing campaign, made by creative agency Abel in collaboration with Limehouse Production, encouraging customers to pick up a box of their doughnuts for major celebrations.

Krispy Kreme’s marketing director, Olivia Sutherland confirmed to Mumbrella that it would remove all ‘coongrats’ related ads.

In response to questions from news.com.au, Krispy Kreme ANZ Marketing Director Olivia Sutherland has issued an apology on behalf of the company.

“We never intended to offend any person or group. We are sorry for the oversight and have removed all the coongratulations related ads from the campaign,” Olivia Sutherland said in a statement to Mumbrella.

The campaign features four spots that aim to make Krispy Kreme doughnuts the star of celebrations like sports events, birthday parties, or major life milestones.

Krispy Kreme has apologised following criticism of this marketing campaign that included a highly offensive racial slur: coon.

In one short spot shows doughnuts popping up to replace the “o” in “congrats”– briefly spelling “coongrats” then “cooongrats.”

The video featuring the offensive slur is no longer available on YouTube.

Anti-racism campaigner Stephen Hagan has hit out at the campaign, calling it “disgraceful” that such a slur slipped through a promotional campaign for the popular brand.

A surprising statement for one of the poorest creative, Abel co-founder and creative director Simon Fowler said the agency had “a blast working in collaboration with the talented team at Limehouse” and its Krispy Kreme client.

6. iTEA SINGAPORE “ZERO 

iTEA Singapore misleading poster advertising 2024

i-TEA Singapore misleading poster advertising 2024

iTEA advertisement created the impression that some of its drinks were zero-sugar and zero-calorie.

The ad, which had been put up at some of the brand’s outlets had bewildered consumers with its confusing and seemingly contradictory claims.

The promotion poster depicts three drinks – jasmine green tea, pearl milk tea and matcha latte with azuki beans – with text saying “zero sugar, zero calories and zero guilt” and that this is “applicable to all drinks”.

In a joint reply to queries from ST, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and Health Promotion Board (HPB) said that under Section 17 of the Sale of Food Act, false and misleading ads on food products are not allowed.

Consumers were also perplexed by the Nutri-Grade ratings of the drinks on the poster. The pearl milk tea is rated C with 0 per cent sugar, and the matcha latte with azuki beans is rated C with 4 per cent sugar.

Drinks in the C range have between 5g and 10g of sugar per 100ml, or 1.2g to 2.8g of saturated fat per 100ml.

itea Singapore misleading poster ad zero sugar calories 2024

i-TEA Singapore misleading poster ad zero sugar calories 2024

5. JACK DANIEL’S “SHORTER DAYS” AD CAMPAIGN

Jack Daniel's shorter days ad poster London Underground 2023

Jack Daniel’s shorter days ad poster London Underground 2023

A Jack Daniel’s poster featuring large text which stated “Shorter days mean we can skip to the good part” has been banned by the ASA (Advertising Standards Association) for promoting irresponsible drinking.

The winter themed poster, which was displayed on the London Underground on 16 November 2023, showed a group of friends sat around a table pouring Jack Daniel’s and mixer into one glass, while others were seen holding glasses of the drink.

The complainant argued that the poster was not responsible because it implied that drinking Jack Daniel’s should take priority in life while encouraging unwise behaviours like drinking earlier in the day.

The ASA maintained that the text “shorter days mean we can skip to the good part” implied that shorter days meant consumers could “skip” to the part of the day where it was socially acceptable to drink alcohol.

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority also ruled that the fact the advert appeared to urge people to start drinking earlier could be considered as an encouragement to drink more than they usually would.

4. GM CADILLAC AD POKING FUN OF FRENCH PEOPLE

Some people might remember Cadillac’s famous “French-bashing” ad where it poked fun of the French for not working hard like Americans and taking too much vacation.

Not that the French can’t take a joke, but this poor ad was so unfunny and heavy-handed that Americans hated it too, and the GM quickly pulled the ad.

GM has struggled to get the ball rolling with the Lyriq and other EVs due to “an issue” with its battery modules.

3. ALDI’S MARKETING CAMPAIGN: #ALDIPOORESTDAYCHALLENGE

Aldi Poorest Day Challenge marketing campaign UK Style Me Sunday Natalie Lee

Aldi Poorest Day Challenge marketing campaign UK Style Me Sunday Natalie Lee

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2. KFC AUSTRALIA TWEET REFERENCE TO MASTURBATION

kfc australia tweet reference to masturbation

KFC Australia tweet reference to masturbation

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1. RYANAIR AIRLINE’S UNSUPPORTED CO2 CLAIMS IN ITS ADVERTISING

Ryanair has been rapped for claims surrounding its CO2 emissions after the Advertising Standards Authority discovered that revelations made in a recent advertising scheme could not be supported. The budget airline named itself to be the “lowest emissions airline” in Europe and a “low CO2 emissions airline”. However, watchdogs found that there was little evidence to prove this claim.

Expert Tip: These examples demonstrate the importance of careful planning, sensitivity, and ethical considerations in marketing campaigns. Poorly thought-out or insensitive marketing efforts can quickly escalate into PR disasters, leading to public backlash, damage to brand reputation, and potential financial losses. It highlights the need for businesses to be mindful of the messages they convey and the potential impact of their marketing initiatives on their target audience.

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CONCLUSION

Poor marketing strategies can lead to wastage of valuable resources such as time, money, and effort. By identifying and rectifying ineffective marketing practices, marketers can redirect their resources to more productive and successful marketing campaigns.

Poor marketing can also negatively impact the perception of a brand or product in the eyes of consumers. Identifying and addressing shortcomings in marketing messages or tactics can help improve your brand’s image and credibility.

eDigital can help you conceptualise, plan, develop, run and optimise successful digital marketing campaigns that generate leads and sales for your brand.

Our digital marketing services include:

  • Strategic planning for social media and other digital marketing channels.
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  • Celebrity and influencer marketing campaign strategy. 
  • Brand development. Logo creation, brand personality development and design of marketing materials.
  • Consumer contests/competitions/giveaways.
  • Email marketing. Dip sequence design and deployment. 
  • Conversion rate optimisation. It is also called “path to purchase” optimisation. 

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POOR 7 MARKETING CAMPAIGN EXAMPLES THAT WENT BAD

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