In this post we are going to be looking at major brand fails of 2018. This is not for entertainment purposes but to examine the fails and see what we can learn from them. This post on major brand fails of 2018 aims to help other brands avoid these mistakes listed.
One major brand fail of 2018 was the Pepsi ad that featured Kendall. In the ad Pepsi tried to present their product as a solution to cultural conflict and police brutality. In the ad Kendall uses Pepsi as a unifying force to unite Black Lives Matter protestors and the police. The ad was met with a lot of outrage and had to be pulled.
What to Learn: Don’t make a statement about a major social issue by trying to sell your product. It makes your brand seem opportunistic and insensitive.
Starbuck’s appears on our list of major brand fails of 2018 because of an incident that occurred in one of their branches. Two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks after asking to use the bathroom without purchasing anything. It was later revealed that the two men were waiting for a business partner to arrive. The news went viral and Starbucks received a lot of backlash for the incident. After receiving a lot of blacklash, Starbucks responded with shutting down 8,000 stores to conduct racial bias training for employees. The CEO of Starbucks Kevin Johnson also apologized to the two men.
What to Learn: It is important your staff understand your brand values. Also even though you can’t control how every staff behaves, it is important to own their mistakes as your own. You should also take action as quickly as possible when mistakes are made.
Another major brand fail of 2018 was the Walker selfie competition. Walker which is a Uk snack company held a social media selfie campaign. Customers were asked to submit selfies for the opportunity to win tickets to a major sporting event. Some customers submitted pictures or criminals, Serial killers and dictators. This led to a major PR nightmare for Walker.
What to Learn: Any campaign that is built around social media, it is important to ensure that a proper vetting process is created to ensure inappropriate entries aren’t submitted.
McDonald’s is another big brand that falls on our list of major brand fails of 2018. The fast food chain released an ad of a young boy talking with his mother about his late father. The boy tries to find out what he had in common with his late father. His mum gives him different details about his late father, he finds out he has little in common with him which makes him sad. He eventually finds out that the one thing he has in common is their love for filet-o-fish sandwiches. The fast food chain received a lot of backlash for the ad and was accused of exploiting grief to sell sandwiches.
Facebook was in the news this year after they were accused of sharing their customer’s private data without approval. They were accused of sharing this data with other brands.
What to Learn: The lesson to learn here is to always respect your customer’s privacy.
Another brand that lands on this list of major brand
What to Learn: This is another lesson is another lesson in vetting and putting checks in place. When you are trying to put out a message it is important you ensure it is executed tastefully so the message doesn’t get lost in translation.