Believe it or not, even the big players make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes make it on the top fails list.
If we consider the numerous fails that marked last year, it turns out that many brands have yet to master the simplest rule of marketing: “Don’t piss people off.”
Here are the most popular mistakes made in the field of advertising, products and public comments, that are still a subject to criticism:
Heineken pulls an offensive ad
In March 2018, Heineken started promoting its light beer with an ad that was later called “terribly racist”. This 30-second ad shows a bartender that is sliding a beer past a few people of color, and the beer ends into the hands of a lighter-skinned woman, with the tag “Sometimes, lighter is better.” Heineken then quickly removed this ad from TV and online.
The H&M sweatshirt gaff
2018 didn’t start well for H&M, who released an ad that featured a young African-American child wearing a green sweatshirt which had the slogan “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.”
This was a terrible mistake and the fashion giant was widely criticized by the public since this was considered to spread racism. Soon after, the company removed the image and released an apology. In the statement, H&M also said that it will pull the sweatshirt from its stores worldwide.
Domino’s free pizza
In September, Domino’s Pizza in Russia launched Dominos Forever, offering 100 years of free pizza to the customers who were willing to get a tattoo of the brand’s logo and share an image on social media. The promotion ended just after a few days because hundreds of people were getting the tattoo and the company had to prevent the big costs.
Dolce & Gabbana’s racist ad
In November, Dolce & Gabbana released a marketing campaign to promote its upcoming Shanghai runway show. The campaign included three videos featuring a Chinese woman who is having trouble eating Italian food with chopsticks. This was considered to be very offensive for the Chinese people since they were shown as a nation who has a lack of refinement. Later, the Italian luxury fashion brand canceled the fashion show in Shanghai.
Victoria’s Secret controversial statement
In an interview for Vogue, CMO Ed Razek mentioned that plus-size, as well as transgender models, should not be a part of an underwear brand’s runway shows. Because this statement caused a wave of backlash, he released an apology saying: “My remark regarding the inclusion of transgender models in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show came across as insensitive. I apologize. To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model in our show. We’ve had transgender models come to castings…And like many others, they didn’t make it. It was never about gender. I admire and respect their journey to embrace who they really are.”