Advertising has its ups and downs, but even big brand name companies hit rock bottom sometimes. 2017 was packed with some amazing advertising campaigns, and then there was the epic fails. Here is a list of the top campaign fails of 2017.
Photo Cred: Glamour Magazine
In a Facebook Ad posted this past fall, a series of women are shown removing their shirt to reveal the next underneath. In one of the transitions, a black woman wearing a brown shirt transitions into a white woman wearing a white shirt. This campaign evoked the immediate response of racist thought inclining "dirty black into clean white" using Dove lotion. Dove immediately apologized, but this isn't the first controversial ad that has gone out their doors this past year.
Photo Cred: CNN
McDonald's released a quick: 90-second advertisement in the U.K. called "Dad," earlier this spring, which elicited confusion and bewilderment. The spot followed a young boy asking his mother to tell him what his father was like before he passed away. Throughout the ad, the boy is clearly hoping one of the descriptions will line up with something that would describe him. None of them do—until he's with his mom at McDonald's, where she lovingly explains that his order (a Filet-O-Fish) was his dad's favorite too. Using people's painful past is never a way to reach your audience for a fish sandwich.
Photo Cred: Business Insider
Heavily popular sports brand, Adidas came under fire for a poorly worded email sent out to those who participated in the Boston Marathon. The email headline read: "Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!" People were livid at the insensitive and tactless email headline reminding those about the horrific bombing that happened in 2013. In response, Adidas sent out an apology to those who received the email.
Photo Cred: Cosmopolitan
One of the most controversial ads this past year is awarded to Pepsi's Kendall Jenner, "Live For Now" ad. Although the ad may have initially had good intentions of showcasing a message of peace and how similar tastes and likes bring people together, the ad inadvertently was perceived the opposite and more of a strategy to back the Black Lives Matter movement for profit. Placing their product in the middle of a highly-sensitive social issue ended up backfiring and the spot was immediately pulled.
All in All
It is extremely important for all brands, no matter the size or popularity, to relate and understand their audience and the messages they are sending. Having a strong strategy and campaign will create a positive experience, and in turn, will create a positive perception.
Source: Ad Week: http://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/lessons-learned-from-the-5-biggest-brand-fails-of-2017-uber-pepsi-dove-and-more/