Creative Marketing Campaigns That Failed

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Creativity is like gold in the marketing atmosphere. It makes things happen in a way that captivates audiences and possible consumers and leaves a nearly everlasting impact. There is a fine line between shock factor and shutting down your audience with overload.


Then there is just plain strange content. If this small yet very effective range can be achieved, you have yourself the opportunity for very successful creative marketing campaigns.

The following examples, however, showcase creative marketing campaigns that have missed that mark. For one reason or another, they came close but didn’t quite reap the benefits of their well-intended efforts.

A very empowering move for manufacturers of women’s beauty products lies in supporting their natural beauty. This is especially important in a world where the media can be very critical and nearly everything we share about ourselves is immediately open to public criticism.


Our first example includes soap bottles sold in packaging designed to reflect the diverse body types of their women consumers. The bottles, however, caused the opposite reaction, leaving women feeling self-conscious.


Companies that have been releasing devices in the same industry for years, like game consoles, for example, are always on the lookout. They are constantly searching for releasing a new and improved model to change up the gaming experience.


The incentive for their consumers to buy the newest make for a better and more unique experience can be challenging. Delivering their intuitive marketing messages can prove just as difficult. Their infamous ad emanates some very offensive vibes despite the advertiser’s goal of giving the customer a feel of an “irresistible” new installment to the product line.


Not many people can forget the creative marketing campaigns that portrayed the ongoing and gruesome social conflicts of their current times. One impactful ad portrayed civil unrest as a trivial disagreement that could have easily been resolved over a can of soda. Police found a peaceful invitation and protesters “quenched their thirst” for revenge in this advertisement. Needless to say, the campaign ended up fueling the outrage going on at the time.


Free merchandise with a purchase can provide a creative outlet for marketers to satisfy their customers’ want of really good deals. One video game publisher gave it a whirl by the unique release of a sequel to a formerly successful game. The game’s plot was of an organized international crime ring, and with it came a free brass knuckles piece for customers that opted into the purchase.

Instead of generating the hype and word of mouth they were looking for, they quickly realized they had violated the law. By distributing these pieces that were classified as weapons in various states, the developer had to shut the whole campaign down!


If you are looking to make an impact in your industry and want to resonate with your product or service to generate loads of exposure, give OCGnow a call at (904) 600-3600.

This post was originally published on 4/21/2020 and updated on 9/30/2021 for accuracy and a larger scope of information.

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