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When good marketers go bad: Do marketing disasters exist?

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If you’re familiar with the concept of the internet then it’s probably safe to assume that somewhere on your online travels you have come across a marketing campaign that’s gone viral for all the wrong reasons. In fact, i’m sure one is springing to mind right now. However, if you’re drawing a blank, allow us to illustrate exactly what we’re referring to with some really famous ad disasters:

The Kenneth Cole tweet: Why? Just why?

#McDstories: Yup, this one backfired, big time! 

Oprah's Microsoft Surface tweet proves even Oprah gets it wrong

Starbucks really didn’t think this one through...

Did noone tell BurgerKing that location is everything?

Some solid advice from Reebok

Anyway, you get the idea. Brands get it wrong all the time and sometimes it works in their favour and sometimes it doesn’t (Kenneth Cole, we’re looking at you).

We recently came across an article published last year in the Guardian with the ominous title of “Five toe-curling blunders from university marketing campaigns” which names and shames five universities who unwittingly got it wrong with a marketing campaign. We’re not going to list them here but have a look through the article and see what you think.  We're of the opinion that most of these so called blunders are quite funny, relatively harmless and probably garnered lots of much wanted attention for the universities concerned. 

In fact, as long as a marketing ‘disaster’ doesn’t damage your reputation or what your brand stands for and isn’t perceived as ‘in bad taste’ it’s probably safe to assume it’s anything but a disaster. We're not advocating that you pour time and resources into orchestrating an epic marketing fail campaign to bag yourself some free publicity, we're just saying if it does happen it's probably not the end of the world. 

P.s. Before you go orchestrate your evil plan to take over the internet one fail at a time, don't forget to take our higher education web survey

Tagged: Just for fun, Marketing fails, Marketing, Digital marketing, Social media

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