Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Marketing Mistake - Microsoft

Spending millions of pounds on a television advert allows you too promote your product too millions of viewers, but when your advert is taken of the air and scrapped because of complaints, then it leads to a massive loss for companies... surely the biggest mistake of all is too invest in making of an advert that can't be publicised, or removed because of complaints.

Not only do these mistakes happen in televised advertisements, but the likes of billboards can be also banned.

ASA (Advertising Standard agency)

The organisation that would usually decide whether an advert would be publicised or not would be the ASA. Below is a brief summary of who they are taken directly from their website:

"The Advertising Standards Authority is the UK’s independent regulator of advertising across all media. We apply the Advertising Codes, which are written by the Committees of Advertising Practice. Our work includes acting on complaints and pro actively checking the media to take action against misleading, harmful or offensive advertisements. " www.asa.org.uk


Microsoft creating this advertisement several years back advertising the Xbox 360. It involves a whole subway station shooting each other with pretend guns - their fingers. Although this may look really fun, the advert causes a lot of controversy, especially that fact that it involved people shooting each other in subway stations, a place where there has always been a lot of security risks!

Never the less, I can imagine the cost of producing the advert wasn't cheap, especially using a whole section of a subway (probably a set), and a lot of actors, it just goes to show that even the funny adverts can be banned, so be careful what is said/shown!

Home office - Go home

Not only do large public limited corporations get it wrong, but so do government corporations, an example of this is the UK Home Office. For many reasons this advert was banned, these include
Home Office van bearing the slogan "In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest"
  • Misleading information: the threat to put the immigrants to jail is absurd, since the law states that they will just be deported.
  • It is near impossible for members of the public to tell whether someone is an "illegal immigrant" or not, this advertisement could have lead to a lot of controversy, and people could have been labelled for racism as a result of this.

Paddy Power -Blind people booting cats

Insulting blind people and kicking cats, what's that got to do with betting?  Paddy Power received 1,313 complaints following this ridiculous marketing mistake. The advert involves a blind football match, where a cat runs onto the football pitch and is booted by one of the footballers, yes some may find this funny, but too air this live on television, surely the knew they would become one of the most complained about adverts in the UK at that time.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Marketing Mistakes - International marketing

One of the biggest problems that develops a marketing mistake, especially in international marketing, is translations.

So many big organisations have had these problems when entering new markets, where campaign slogans or names of products have been translated into offensive messages. Here are just a few of the marketing blunders caused by the translation issue:

Pepsi - "Pepsi brings your ancestors back to life"

Pepsi Graveyard ChinesePepsi are one of the big brands that suffered this marketing flaw, when trying to expand into China. Pepsi marketing campaign to penetrate the far east focused on the motto "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" , which translated into "Pepsi Brings your ancestors back to life" . Although this may seem funny, expanding internationally is very costly, and a campaign which offers such a "bold statement" and absurd message from the view of the Chinese population could have cost Pepsi millions of pounds. This mistake is worse compared to many other campaigns that are translated internationally because of  the opportunities  of China's dramatically rising economy.

Coors Light - "Suffer from Diarrhoea"

Coors Light, the American beer company, decided to use the slogan "Turn it loose" when advertising its product in Spain. Unfortunately for Coors, the translation of their popular slogan in Spanish meant "Suffer from Diarrhoea". Slightly more hilarious than the Pepsi mishap, the Coors Light slogan could have potentially damaged their reputation in Spain, especially when comparing a consumable good as something that will potentially make you "Suffer from Diarrhoea"

KFC- Finger licking good, or eat your fingers off?

The final brand that will be covered in this marketing mistakes post will be Kentucky Fried Chicken. KFC decided to branch out into the Asian markets like many other companies have done before, and like many other companies, they did not do their research into how their slogan would be translated. In 1985, KFC hit mainland China, bringing their slogan  with them which is just as famous as the brand itself  -"Finger licking good". Little did they know that when translated into Chinese lettering, their slogan would state "Eating your fingers off". Now this marketing mistake could have cost KFC millions of pounds just like Pepsi, but because of their brands strength, they succeeded in china after changing their slogan and proceeed to have over 900 outlets in China.


Whether a business large or small (but most likely large) when moving into international waters, make sure that you pull our your new dictionary and get translating! Although the said companies managed to get away with their marketing mistakes, others may not be so lucky!

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Advertisement of the week : Ant & Dec

This is a belated advertisement of the week which was wrote several weeks back, but because of assignments and exam revision I was unable to finish it, but here it is now!

Our advertisements of the week include both a Christmas theme and TV show advertisement,both featuring two hilarious men from the north east of England, Ant and Dec!

I'm a celebrity get me out of here

As a lot of you will all know, the very popular ITV show "I'm a celebrity GET ME OUT OF HERE!" has just started this past Sunday, and to get people on board, the faces of the show Ant and Dec featured in a short 1 minute advert on ITV to promote the show! But they aren't the reason I enjoyed this short clip, the reason is the Aussie driver who picks them up...check it out and see why!

Christmas with Morrisons

 The second advert in my advertisements of the week this week is the Morrison's Christmas Advert. this little number features the "be our guest" song which famously stars in the well known Disney classic Beauty and the Beast, with the main stars being Ant, Dec and the gingerbread man! This advert differs from the John Lewis advert included in advert of the week last week as it uses celebrity endorsement, Ant & Dec.

Marketing Mistakes - New Coke

Marketing is used by all companies, from large Plc.'s too small sole traders, so occasionally, things are can wrong.

This series of blog posts will highlight various marketing mistakes, large and small, and how the companies that made these mistakes dealt with the situation they put themselves in.

New Coke

One of the biggest marketing mistakes from all time happens to come from one of the largest companies in the world, The Coca-Cola Company. This marketing disaster occurred in one of the most important times in Coca-Cola's history, when the "coke wars" between themselves and Pepsi Cola was bigger than ever before.

Coca-Cola, the worlds no.1 drink, was to be re-released as "New Coke". New branding, new taste and serious faces to promote the brand was to be put into the member of the publics eyes, little did Coke know that they were going to be making one of the biggest marketing mistakes known to man!

New coke, source: www.coca-colacompany.com
New coke was introduced in 1985 to try and increase Coke's market share, which had been slipping over the past 15 years closer and closer to Pepsi, their nearest rivals. (http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/coke-lore-new-coke, 2013). Celebrities such as Bill Cosby were brought in to promote what was meant to be the "new tasting phenomenon"... although this was not the case. By June 1985, The Coca-Cola Company was receiving on average 1,500 calls a day on the consumer hotline, this being compared to the 400 a day before the taste change, showed that Coca-Cola had made a big mistake, some would even say the worse marketing blunder of the century.

By July, Coca-Cola announced that the original Coca-Cola would be put back into store's, meaning those who had been rationing their Coca-Cola bottles would be free to start drinking that taste they ever so loved.

BUT.... the question by many people is, was this actually a marketing mistake?
Since this "marketing epidemic" Coca-Cola have been the leading soft drink in almost every country in the world, as well as "Coke" being the second most used word, second to "OK".
New Coke happened to not tingle those Coca-Cola lovers taste buds, but when they decided to bring back the original Coca-Cola, those who loved the product before fell in love right away, and this is the reason why they have continued to be the leading soft drink.

Although Coca-Cola got away with this mishap, it does not mean any other company can.

The strength of The Coca-Cola Company's brand, and the acquired taste of the original Coca-Cola just goes to show that a highly reputable brand with one of the best products in a market can get away with the stupidest of marketing ploys ... But I wouldn't advise it for any other company