5 Brands That Really Shouldn’t Have

Some are obvious disasters, others are my opinions of ads that don’t make much sense.  Brands and their ad agencies really strive to be creative and bold.  Most times it works, other times it’s just cringe worthy.  I appreciate their efforts, and they make for good conversations, but these ads aren’t the reason I purchase these brands.  Also, these are “modern day” ads.  Ads from “back in the day” are definitely conversation for a different blog post.

These are my opinion of the Top 5 Flops:

    • Kenneth Cole: So he sent out a pretty insensitive tweet.  This isn’t the only time either.  He must’ve gotten his brand image confused with Ricky Gervais’s?Kenneth Cole tweet
    • Dr. Pepper 10: Uh, I’m sorry, is it 1950?  Has our country’s social evolution over the past 60 years meant nothing to this brand?  I get that they’re targeting men, but don’t blatantly shut out over 50% of the population.  Do you see Tyler Perry advertising that his movies are “not for white guys?”  Nice try, but there are other ways to be bold.dr pepper 10
    • Chanel:  Okay I get it, a beautiful guy, talking some deep gibberish in black and white, getting us women all hot and bothered to wear…perfume? Okay, you got me, I don’t get it.  I really, really don’t get it at all.  I think someone over at Chanel wanted a chance to meet Brad Pitt and said “HEY GUYS! Let’s throw him in our next ad!”
    • Orangina:  These are a couple of print ads for the French campaign.  I’m not sure how the animal-ish figures relate to the brand, or even the tagline for that matter.  I don’t know about you, but this isn’t making me thirsty.  It is, however making me concerned that those into bestiality are getting a bit aroused…Orangina French
    • Dodge: Well guess whose wife won’t agree to buying a Charger because she has 50% of the say on big ticket items and didn’t like the ad? Yours, probably.  I am a sucker for some Michael C. Hall, but let’s not act like a shiny car is a mans reward for being married.  This actually makes men look weak and childish: “Yay, mommy — AHH — I mean wifey.  I did everything I’m supposed to, can I have my toy now?”  Men should probably be more insulted than women.

Really though.  As multi-million/billion dollar companies, you’d think they would know better.  Well, at least they got us talking.  Any publicity is good publicity, right?

Of course there are tons more that I will probably post in the future, but these seem like a good start.  Also, take a look at these other 2012 brand fails and 2013 brand fails from Adweek.  They’re hilarious and epic!  What are some ads you found to be terrible? I want to know!


When Creatively Stumped, Why Not Ask the Consumers?

How about letting your consumers get creative?  It’s great that some brands have embraced the unique approach of trusting their consumers to come up with creative ideas for advertising and product development.

For a brand to trust the consumers, it must have a clear brand identity and excellent follow-through.  Brands must be confident that they have promoted their brand identity in a clear, concise manner, if they are going to entrust this responsibility to the people who utilize the brand the most.  This is a great way to engage with consumers because it’s inviting them to participate in one of the most precious and sacred segments of the marketing process: the advertising.  They feel important and are motivated to really think about, and understand, the brands identity.  Also, Cheap brand exposure can never hurt.

Marketers appreciate participation because they receive user-generated content that they can use for years to come, at a fractioned price.  Many campaigns used the perspective of their consumers, and they rocked! Here’s a few:



This popular porn website has started a contest where people can compete to become a Creative Director for the company.  Pornhub wants to be able to advertise within mainstream media because they want to grow.  So far, they have the same, more or less, diverse following and they want to expand upon that.  Their goal is to create ads that aren’t too lewd so they can achieve maximum reach.  Take a look at the Pornhub Tumblr page and see what you think of these amateur ads.  Despite the content, you can’t deny the creativity.  Also, here’s an article on Adweek discussing this interesting contest.



Lay’s annual “Do Us A Flavor” contest is a little different than creating a campaign because the brand is asking it’s consumers to create a unique potato chip flavor.  This past April wrapped up the 2014 contest entries.  Last year, the three finalists were Chicken & Waffles, Sriracha and Cheesy Garlic Bread.  Cheesy Garlic Bread was the winner.  Now everyone is dying to know who will win this year!



Frito-Lay definitely loves letting their fans run the show.  Who can forget Doritos’ hilarious annual Super Bowl commercials, generated by their devoted supporters?  Honestly, it’s what I look forward to every year during the Super Bowl.  Since 2006, The winner receives $1 million dollars and the exposure of a lifetime.  Check out the 2014 finalists.

As an Advertising student, I was constantly asked to create ideas for brands.  It’s an exciting and challenging process that I’m glad some marketers have been embracing.  Eventually, I will sporadically post some of my campaign ideas that I pitched in school, and those I just did for fun.  So stay tuned!