18 Most Famous Marketing Failures

Marketing Fails

Mistakes Businesses Make In Marketing

Marketing is a risky business. Some things succeed and some things fail. People get promotions and people get fired. Here are just a few examples:

1. Cartoon Network
In 2007, Cartoon Network launched a Guerrilla Marketing campaign in which they set up LED signs in a lot of different places in order to promote one of their cartoons.

This turned into a full blown terrorism scare, turning out in the shut down of a lot of public transportation roads, bridges, and lines.

The head of Cartoon Network lost his job and cost the company over $2,000,000.

2. Gerber
When Gerber began selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as they did in the US.

In Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of what is inside, due to the fact that a lot of people cannot read.

3. Frank Perdue
Frank Perdue’s slogan, It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken, was translated incorrectly in Spanish. The Spanish translation read, It takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate.

4. Pepsi
Another example of a slogan being lost in translation. Their slogan, Come alive with the Pepsi Generation was translated in Chinese to Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave.

5. Coors
Their slogan Turn it Loose translated in Spanish to Suffer from Diarrhea.

6. Ikea
named one of its desks the Fartfull.

7. Parker Pen
Parker Pen pushed a ballpoint pen in Mexico with the slogan, It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant. The slogan should have read, It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.

8. Qwikster
Netflix chose to split their company in two in 2011. Qwikster was supposed to be meant for movie streaming and Netflix for movie rentals. The market was split, so their would have been a 60 per cent increase for each individual service.

This caused Netflix to lose 800,000 subscribers and the stock dropped 77 per cent in just four months. They wound up going back to just Netflix to avoid confusion.

9. Clairol
The Mist Stick curling iron translated to something a little gross in German slang: Manure stick.

Tweet Failures

Companies fail with Tweets as well as with slogans. Here are just a few examples:

Shortly after the Aurora, CO movie theater massacre, Celeb Boutique tweeted that Aurora was trending because of their Kim K inspired dress.

Entenmann’s tweeted: Who’s #notguilty about eating all the tasty treats they want? after the Casey Anthony trials.

During the Egyptian protests in Cairo, Kenneth Cole tweeted that the protest had to do with their new spring collection. These tweets left a terrible taste in many people’s mouths.