The Marketing Fails You NEED to Know About!

Imagine your favorite brand changes their logo or design – how would you feel about that? All the trust you had in the brand seems to have disappeared. We perceive them differently. What do they stand for now? This can get quite confusing and off-putting for the customer.

After identifying the brand in a certain way for so many years, we see them in only that way. Of course, a company may have reasons to shake things up, like stagnant sales, to which altering the brand image may or may not be the solution. People may not always agree with the company’s decision to change the way they market their brand/product. Everything matters – color, words, patterns, etc.

Some of the major brands we know of today have taken a chance on change and well… let’s say it didn’t go over so well with the public.

1.  The Gap redesigns their logo


Change isn’t always good. After twenty years of identifying Gap with a blue box and the name right smack in the middle, Gap decided to alter their logo design. The only problem was that everything else remained the same. New logo but same merchandise? Is the Gap still the Gap?

Result: This created backlash and a whole lot of confusion from their consumers.

2. Tropicana: Tropics like it’s NOT hot


Tropicana’s brand image transitioned from a vibrant, delicious looking orange you want to bite into to a bland looking carton with some big letters and numbers on it. Larger letters or words doesn’t necessarily mean people will read them. It’s like pushing a door that clearly says pull. Sometimes it’s not the words people notice but the colors, especially with packaging.

Result: Sales dropped 20% and Tropicana went back to its original design shortly after two months.

3. H&M’s Fashion Fail


On Britain’s H&M website, a hoodie was recently advertised with the words “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” printed on it. Social media went crazy with comments and criticism about how “insensitive” H&M was and their lack of awareness on the issue. Celebrities like The Weeknd, NBA star Lebron James, and more have publicly expressed their concerns and strong disapproval on the advertisement.

Result: H&M released a statement apologizing and removed the garment from their channels and wherever their product was offered globally. They also hired a diversity leader to properly address their approach on diversity.

4. Bloomingdale’s attempts to be funny


This holiday advertisement was meant to be funny but actually came off as highly inappropriate and offensive to viewers and catalogue readers. Are they saying that it’s okay to spike someone’s drink without them even knowing? Many consumers were horrified with this ad and the message it was sending about date rape.

Result: Bloomingdales released a statement apologizing for their poor judgment.

5. Audi Commercial

Audi created an ad in China that started off with the bride’s soon to be mother-in-law, interrupting a wedding to properly inspect the bride. Before giving her sign of approval, she examines the bride by grabbing her nose, ears, and mouth. We soon find out that her inspection is similar to that of a used car. Many weren’t fond of this commercial, particularly because of the comparison it was making between women and products/goods.

Result: The message portrayed in this ad regarding women and their value, left an unpleasant image in consumers eyes. Audi soon released a statement saying their ad, “does not correspond to the values of their company”.

6. Burger’s King: Where’s Herb


Let’s throw it back to 1985 when Burger King launched a campaign called “Where’s Herb?” in which they told customers that if they found a “Herb” at a Burger King location, they would win a prize of $5,000. However, there was nothing special about Herb. He was just an ordinary guy. Then, a 15 year old discovered Herb, but was not awarded the prize money because apparently you had to be at least 16 to participate in the contest. But no one knew this. In the end, Burger King just gave his 16 year old friend the prize.

Result: If you’re going to have a campaign revolving around a brand mascot, make sure they’re memorable in some way. And make sure consumers are clear about the rules of your contest…