Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Marketing Blunders

McDonald's Tainted MP3 Players

In Japan, where technology frenzy is common place and where even virtual pets have their own MP3 players; McDonald's ran a contest in which customers were eligible to win their very own MP3 device.

After distributing around 10,000 gadgets, customers discovered that each MP3 came loaded with 10 free songs and a trojan malware, capable of communicating user logins and passwords. A software patch was dispersed and a recall was instituted, thereby ending McDonald's worst campaign.

Icy Response to Snapple (Natural Juice Company)

Snapple decided it was time to do something big…as big as attempting to overtake the Guinness World Record for the largest ice lollipop, made out of the company's tasty kiwi-strawberry drink. The company however had a serious flaw in it plans…the record breaking attempt took place mid-June. Immediately upon unloading, the melted juice poured from the truck, creating a syrupy tidal wave which became a major headache for cleanup crews.

LifeLock CEO Tempts Fate

The personal fraud protection company LifeLock guarantees the security of your identity under their employ. So much so that, in a nationwide ad, CEO Todd Davis posts his personal social security number on the side of a van — daring identity thieves to give it a shot. Turns out, they did.

No fewer than 25 motivated thieves stole Davis' social security number — with one successfully receiving a $500 loan. LifeLock maintains its diligence, claiming that for a nationwide ad, only one case of stolen identity isn't too bad. It doesn't advise posting your mom's maiden name on your car, however.

General Motors Inspires Amateur Filmmaking

Three years ago, General Motors did its own marketing blunder too…it tried to tap in the young drivers market by tapping into the YouTube craze. GM launched a website allowing users to create their own commercial about the Chevy SUV and upload it for public view.

That was a good idea however GM forgot one thing…monitor what was being uploaded. GM hadn't realized that it bore favorable connotations, and participants started producing short films about global warming, the war in Iraq, or negative attacks against the auto's quality. The problem was that it took the company one month to realize this!

KFC Underestimate Fan Frenzy

Companies use giveaways as a way to increase popularity and visibility for their products…so what could go wrong? KFC started it own promotion by giving away free KFC meals…a good idea you might say but…

After Oprah announced a KFC giveaway on her much-watched program, the food chain couldn't keep up with the lines of customers…this stampede gave way to a flood of protests which obviously back fired…so be careful as promotions might be too successful which becomes a problem when you can’t keep up with the demand.

Zombie Invasion Credited to Dr. Pepper

It's hard to dislike a treasure hunt, unless the “X” spot lies somewhere over a historical landmark. An international campaign from Dr. Pepper's then-owner Cadbury Schweppes hid coins within 23 American cities to promote the soft drinks’ "23 flavors."But the agency in charge of Boston's location selected the Granary Burying Ground; a historical landmark.

The result:- A flood of shovels tried to find the coin but Cadbury Schweppes ended the contest. However the graveyard had to be closed to prevent a zombie outbreak.

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