Blog post by: Marina Pappas, Baer Performance Marketing Intern
While marketing campaigns always hold the possibility of bringing great success to a business, if put together improperly, a campaign also holds the potential to ruin a business. Companies strive to develop advertising campaigns that capture their audience’s attention. However, within the past two decades, there has been an onslaught of failed marketing campaigns due to ego and businesses failing to conduct proper research.
The first example to take note of is LifeLock. This company in particular aims at preventing fraudulent applications for credit cards, mortgages, and car loans placed in the client’s name. LifeLock CEO Todd Davis was so confident his product would work that he willingly placed his social security number on a truck that appeared in a nationally televised commercial. A number of identity thieves jumped on the opportunity. A man in Texas took out a $500 loan while another opened up an AT&T wireless account. Todd Davis didn’t even know about the purchases until collection agencies started calling him personally.
Another example includes the well-known TV show Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The show airs on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim and has been the longest running original show in Adult Swim history. In 2007, American cities from Los Angeles to New York City had been mesmerized by LED lights depicting one of the shows characters Mooninite. However, in Boston, the lights brought on a citywide bomb scare, causing streets to be closed while the police investigated. Turner Broadcasting ended up paying $2 million in fines to the Boston Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Jim Samples, the head of Cartoon Network for roughly 13 years, resigned.
Both of these case stories are instances of extreme blunders and were certainly lacking common sense in their execution. However, even campaigns that seem completely logical can fail when based on assumptions. The best way to avoid marketing failure is to do your research and make educated decisions. Guesswork will only lead you to trouble in marketing.