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Tag : social media fall

Marketing Faux-Pas to Learn from


There’s no doubt about it, we live in a society where one slip up can cost you an untold amount of money and a whole customer base. Even if an advertisement was never in any way meant to be offensive, an accidental negative message can crush a company’s image. Marketing can make or break you. How can you stay politically correct without ever intending for a political statement in the first place? Of course, people have the tendency to twist things and distort messages in a light that was never meant to be. However, the best way to protect yourself is to ignore the mistakes of the past. Here are some ads that backfired for their brand:

  • Gap received hard criticism for using an image that contained a Caucasian girl leaning her propped arm on an African American girl’s head. People were furious over this imagery and Gap had to apologize quickly.
  • Bud Light made a big mistake by using “The perfect beer for removing “no” from your vocabulary for the night. #UpForWhatever” on their packaging. People mistook it for promoting not only reckless behavior, but sexual assault. Bud Light’s VP apologized personally, but a large chunk of damage was done.
  • In an attempt to bash their competitor, Sprint asked a Caucasian woman what she’s reminded of when thinking about T-Mobile. She said it’s ghetto, which raised a firestorm around Sprint, saying they were insinuating racist and classist thinking.
  • Perhaps the most recent marketing blunder goes to Cheerios. They posted an image saying “Rest in Peace” meant to pay tribute to Prince. They replaced the i’s dot with a piece of their round cereal and people said they were using the music icon’s passing as a way to promote their product. Oops!

Talk about controversy, right? All these mistakes show that a message can be taken the wrong way without the creator ever intending anything. It can seem like you’re walking on eggshells, but try to put yourself in other’s shoes. When crafting posts, it is important to realize that EVERYBODY can see what you write and with that, comes a lot of subjective interpretation. Try your best to see your image from any angle possible and get a colleague to play devil’s advocate.

For more advertising errors, check out Entrepreneur’s article here:

Do you have any other examples or personal experiences in advertising backfires? Share with us below!

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Should Social Media Play a Role in Your Marketing Plan This Fall?


As a relatively new subject for many businesses, there are many misconceptions about the social media universe and its impact on a business’s bottom line.  As we are nearly shutting the door on summer and opening the window to the fall and winter months,  I wanted to address one of these misconceptions in hopes that it will help you create an even better marketing campaign for the coming months.  Who doesn’t want a synergistic marketing strategy going into the busy holiday season!

Ok, here we go:

Social Media Marketing Does Not Take the Place of All Marketing Activities

Why do I say this?  It is down to the fact that I have been alarmed by the amount of businesses out there that are forgoing all of the traditional marketing channels to invest solely in a social media marketing campaign.

In fact, every week I speak to at least one person who wants to put all of their “marketing eggs” in the social media basket.  From a business standpoint, this is great for my agency, but from a marketer’s standpoint it is not a good decision.  In fact, if a client has no marketing strategy and are undertaking ZERO other marketing activities, I caution them against investing all of their capital into social media marketing.


Because in order to truly tap into the benefits of social media marketing, you need to have an existing marketing strategy to incorporate it into.

In fact, I’ve even spoken with large international firms that were having huge success with their advertising strategy, but were going to totally scrap it and invest in social media.  While the social media spend is crucial to a business, if you were spending $100,000 per year on advertising and were generating $500,000 in income….why would you just suddenly stop?

Now don’t get me wrong, there is value in executing a social media marketing campaign on its own, but the success is just at a lower level than when paired with a cohesive marketing strategy.  You need to understand that social media marketing is not the be all and end all of business, but rather the glue that holds everything together and the powerful megaphone that will get your message seen and heard by millions of members of your target market.

Now onto budgets.  If you are unable to take on social media yourself, outsourcing is a wonderful solution…but you need to budget for the activity.  Believe me, as a marketer for over a decade, I know very well how important the marketing budget is and how little we have to work with in order to create mountains of success.  My point is that if you are going to decide to spend on social media marketing, you need to make sure that all of the other spokes in the marketing wheel are well oiled and ready for action.  This way you will be maximizing your marketing spend while also maximizing your marketing potential.

Just think about it.  You get to hit your audience only once when you send out an email blast.  But what if that same email was re-purposed on your blog as an article, a topic for a video you post on YouTube, a discussion seen by thousands on LinkedIn, a tweet on Twitter, a pin on Pinterest, a Company Page update on LinkedIn….and the list goes on (and it honestly does).  So where you email database was only 350-1,000 people, you would be able to hit upwards of the hundred thousands with social media.

My advice is to consider the positive effects of social media WHILE you are formulating your plan.  Already done it?  Then revise your plan with the social media effects in mind.

Also, it doesn’t hurt to schedule time with a consultant to walk you through all of this.  Sometimes an outside perspective can really make your ideas come to fruition faster and possibly open doors to new opportunities.

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