Marketing is both an art and a science, and this art/science combo can often go both right and wrong. It’s hard to anticipate or predict which ad campaign will work and which won’t, but some fails are just so preposterous you can’t believe somebody actually thought it was a good idea.
Take, for instance, Dove’s marketing campaign where a black woman is shown taking off her clothes and transforming into a white woman after applying body lotion. The ad was heavily criticized for being racist.
In other news, Kendall Jenner, after giving birth to her lovely daughter Stormi, tweeted in February 2018 that she doesn’t use Snapchat anymore… and, to put it quite bluntly, all her fans stopped using Snapchat. Snapchat lost a huge amount of revenue and quite a large number of users.
That’s not the end of Snapchat when it comes to social media fails of 2018. The popular photo and video media platform ran an ad asking users if they’d rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown – and Rihanna responded on Instagram, Snapchat’s biggest social media rival, that they should throw the app away for taking a jab at a domestic violence survivor.
On the other hand, some tactics have been so successful you can’t help but laud the marketing masterminds at work, and wonder how they could come up with an idea so phenomenal.
While #MeToo isn’t a marketing gimmick by any means, and nor is it something to be taken lightly, the hashtag has taken the world by storm – as it rightly deserves to – making it one of the most successful campaigns of all time.
Stayfree India came up with its #ProjectFreePeriod in an attempt to better sex workers’ lives. They collaborated with professional skill trainers to equip sex workers with skills they could use to sustain themselves outside of their sex working career. So when they have their three days of periods, they can instead turn it into three days of learning a new skill.
The #NickYanka wedding has been one of the greatest weddings of the year, with Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas tying the knot recently. The couple sold exclusive rights for their wedding photos to People magazine for a whopping $2.5 million, and People has gained so much traffic and sales all because of it. Looks like it wasn’t the happiest day of their lives for just Nickyanka, but also for People magazine!
Marketing is, definitely, a skill to behold, and there’s a lot that marketers and brands can learn about what to do – and what not to do – from these marketing fails and hits of 2018.