| 3 minutes read

3 minutes read

8 Biggest Marketing Failures Of 2018 That You Should Not Repeat

| Published on January 19, 2019

Failure is most certainly a possibility when it comes to marketing.

This year there were a number of these epic marketing fails. Some occurred because of bad strategy, some because of bad execution, and some because of a combination of the two. But All of them have one thing in common and that is all of them definitely hold some legit valuable lessons for brands.

So, what are some of the biggest marketing fails of 2018 that you can learn from?


Pepsi wanted to market their product by equating all the cultures of the world together by Kendel Jenner Ad but it turned out to be outrageous.

Six months later PepsiCo president Brad Jakeman stepped down, telling the spot was “the most gut-wrenching experience of my career.”


After a successful 15 years of campaigning, Dove got their hands dirty by releasing limited edition packaging designs. It resulted in their packaging being compared to women’s figures to abstract, shapeless soap bottles.

The packaging sent the wrong message. Instead of reinforcing a strong body image, it ended up increasing self-consciousness.


Walkers is a snack company that implemented a social media campaign where customers submitted selfies for an opportunity to win tickets to a major sporting event.

Unfortunately, some people submitted pictures of dictators, serial killers, and criminals. It was obviously a nightmare for the company.


Wendy’s got into a tweet battle with customers over whether they really use fresh beef.

Then Wendy’s responded by posting a meme Pepe the frog. Pepe was used by white supremacists in the U.S. Presidential election in 2016.

Though the image was pulled out, screenshots were already taken. Thus, the damage was already done.


Sony decided to promote its white PlayStation Portable Device by showing a pale woman with white hair grabbing a black woman by the face. The white figure looks upset and determined while the black figure looks very submissive.

Another marketing strategy which failed because of its racist nature. Sony had to receive criticisms for the same.

The Department of Education

Typos aren’t usually a big deal unless you’re the Department of Education! They tweeted a W.E.B. Du Bois quote that included his name misspelled.

Then, they apologized with the word ‘apology’ misspelled.

Sad but they damaged their reputation themselves.

Burger King

Burger King created a campaign to run on smart devices that activated the device to read a list of burger ingredients posted on Wikipedia but sadly the hackers altered the post to include ingredients, like cyanide.

As a result of the hack, the campaign was pulled. This is particularly unfortunate because the concept of this campaign was pretty smart.


It’s always important to check out a car before you purchase it. Audi turned this idea on its head by portraying a mother-in-law who starts checking out her soon-to-be-daughter-in-law from the lips to the tongue before nodding in approval.

Unfortunately, this commercial objectifies women, reducing their value to that of a vehicle.

These blunders head on to give away one consistent message to all the other brands or would-be brands out there – Check everything, twice, thrice and over and over again because it is always better to give it a lottle time than send out a wrong message to all your prospective customers.

So then, Happy and safe Marketing! 😛

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