Learn from the mistakes of others – Marketing Fails

by | Nov 30, 2016

Courageous, bold, or plain idiotic and ignorant. You decide. Businesses will sometimes push the boundaries to attract as much attention as possible. Obviously their intentions will be to put their brand in a positive light, but mistakes happen and the outcome can be cataclysmic

Here are a few adverts worldwide that have gone terribly wrong and resulted in the complete opposite effect to what was intended.

Heinz Ketchup –  Germany

Heinz Marketing Blunder. Image by Daniel Korell

Daniel Korell, a german customer bought his bottle of “Heinz Hot Ketchup” and having seen the QR code for exclusive Heinz on the back, decided to scan it with his mobile device to see what was offered to him. He was surprised and amused to discover that the QR Code actually redirected him to a porn site.  Upon this discovery he posted a picture of it to the Heinz facebook business page.



Bloomingdale’s catalogue advert

The advert seems to imply that date rape is ok, causing outcry from across the globe.

We are not even sure why anyone would think that the copy for this advert was in any way clever.





The ad features a gentleman staring, unnoticed at a woman as she appears to be enjoying herself at a party.  People across the globe started to perceive the male model as leering or looking creepy, which reinforced the accusations of Bloomingdale’s advocating date rape.

What makes this debacle worse is that they could not remove the advert because it was actually a full page advert within their printed catalogue.  The catalogues had been distributed across the USA.


Esurance Advert 

Always ensure your fonts are clear and spaced appropriately

Esurance suffered from a slightly embarrassing outcome when their innocent advert was set in a font face that enabled readers to misread certain words from a distance.

The banner was meant to read “cover your home in a click” but well, we will let you work out what the public were possibly seeing instead!

Once the issue was discovered, the billboard did not stay up long.