Posts Tagged ‘Advertising F*** Up’

oh-really

 

It’s been awhile since we had a really good F*** Up to share, and we can feel your nervous anticipation, Dear Reader, so here is a new one for you. Ta-da!

 

cock flavour soup mix

 

Quality since 1922 indeed. We think that means since twenty past seven last night.

Believe it or not, this was seen on a BRITISH supermarket shelf by our eagle-eyed correspondent. Amazing.

As for which market segment might go hunting for this particular item, let us just say that our lips are sealed.

neuro-blissMeanwhile, I am not the only blogger driven nuts by the stupidities of packaging. The Flaklist kindly found this beauty.

As he says:

Oh good, my years of waiting have finally paid off.  At last, there’s a drink on the market that has married the shapely form of a butt plug with the distinctive colouration of a used condom.  That’s just what I’ve always said would make a beverage look irresistibly appetising.  Brilliant.

And you thought we are harsh!

Flaklist also takes aim at a series of packaging ephemera from Sainsbury’s in the UK.

Along the lines of health warnings like “Contains Nuts” being on a clear-wrap packet of peanuts, he bemoans the idiot extra comments advertising writers put on packaging in case we don’t, just, you know, get the point.

This is my favourite. Yes, when in doubt, say more. And more and more and more.

 

fruity

 

Refreshing and fruity.

Fruity (adjective) – having the taste or smell of fruit.

Raspberry (noun) – a type of fruit.

Incontrovertible (adjective) – using the term ‘fruity’ to describe a fucking fruit.

Junior marketing managers approving packaging detail, please note.

We’re not absolutely sure if this photo is genuine.

It might be a clever photoshopped viral meme designed to make a point ahead of the Scottish independence poll. Or it might just be the perfect example of Rule #1 of outdoor advertising – see your medium before you stick the ad to the train, and don’t put any of it over (a) doors that move (b) big sticky-outey things that make it impossible to read your ad.

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Either way, very funny.

For more glorious F*** Ups in advertising, packaging, social media et al just put “F*** Up” in the search box top left of this page and hit enter …

flagsMeanwhile, based on the polls, if you are remotely interested in the politics of the thing, it is still looking likely that Scotland won’t vote to become an independent country, with the “yes” side of the poll declining recently, although fervent yes campaigners point to the still large number of undecideds and the fact that a larger percentage of women seem undecided in particular.

Our guess – and we’re usually right – is that the referendum will fail, but more narrowly than the current polls indicate. Still, with a month to go, there is still time for momentum to build either way as people focus more and more on the actual event.

A wrap of the movements of the polls can be found here. In reading polls, psephologists agree that what really matters is the overall look of the trends, and the averaging of them. On that basis, it should be noted that since this poll tracker began, the “yes” side of the argument has only been in the majority, very temporarily, twice.

(With thanks to Dickie Ember for forwarding us the Alex Salmond train photo.)

 

Seeing as how, like, we work in the good old ad industry thingy to earn a crust, we have remarked many times how in today’s wired-up world one unhappy incident can turn into a worldwide embarrassment.

Ryanair: today, it's all about the, er, cock up.

Hmmmm.

We can spend millions on advertising and marketing, but it takes just one dis-satified, disgruntled customer to start a hare running that can cause lost custom, a trashed brand, and a story that could run and run for weeks or months, running out of control into the darkest and unreachable corners of the world wide interweb.

One such story about a complaint letter sent to Ryanair was posted to Facebook on April 25th, by James Lockley, and is rapidly going viral, apparently. Indeed, people are re-posting it on their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts pleading with people to help the story go viral.

Without commenting on the veracity of the content, the letter is also very funny. You can read the whole letter on James’s Facebook page. It’s been shared over 60,000 times.

Let us make this clear: we weren’t at Stansted airport with James and his missus so we can’t judge the bona fides of the story one way or the other, and in our experience there are always two sides to every story. Our interest is therefore not in the incident itself, but in how social media makes companies’ reputations vulnerable to customers with a gripe, and how they need to be aware of the risk and have plans to mitigate it.

The airline is apparently in touch with the customer. We await further news with interest.

For other F*** Ups just put F*** Up in the search box top left of the page – there are lots to enjoy …

And by the way, we would just like to note that this is the 700th blog on Wellthisiswhatithink – over the last couple of years we have enjoyed many thousands of hits and comments, with a more than healthy number of “followers” and lots of great interaction with you, our much-valued readers. We’d just like to say thank you, and keep reading!

britair.jpgAs you will know, Dear Reader, our day job is, as often as not, in the advertising business, hence our abnormal, (some would say mildly obsessional), fascination with the egregious mistakes that pepper our industry.

You can find umpteen examples, some very funny, by searching for “F***” in the search box top left of this page.

This latest example, which greeted commuters at Euston Station in London yesterday, takes the cake. It is funny, in a sort of gut-wrenching embarrassing way.

 

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We think we’ll stick with the commute, thanks. OK, the ad has been withdrawn by British Airways with apologies that it “was not appropriate at this time”. But let’s be clear here, these things don’t take place overnight. The media is booked weeks in advance. The artwork (this is a video installation) is created weeks in advance

At no time until the public started complaining via social media did anyone in the ad agency or the client’s media buyers or the client’s marketing department or, for that matter, the station owners who were selling the ad space, suggest that this ad was just the teensy-weeniest bit stupid, not to say breathtakingly insensitive, given that the Indian Ocean is the widely expected graveyard for the recent disappeared Malaysian Airlines flight that has led every news bulletin in the world for two weeks.

Two words. Sack. Someone.

Who would have thought an airline could make Qantas look competent? Wonders never cease.

This literally just arrived in my email, courtesy of a Virgin Australia Holidays marketing exercise.

Under the banner Sale into Summer – SALE into summer, geddit? – the email is offering holidays, including Vanuatu for $725 pp for 5 nights. Sounds like a good deal. Interestingly, though, the conditions for the holiday included this little gem. Which makes it an incredibly good deal.

Vanuatu Includes return airfares to Hamilton Island, baggage, 5 nights accommodation. Departs Brisbane, on sale until midnight 24 November, unless sold out prior, for travel between 05 November – 05 December 2013 and 02 February – 27 March 2014.
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Flights to Hamilton Island included in all Vanuatu holidays. What a great promotion. I like Hamilton Island.

Quite why Virgin would include return airfares to Hamilton Island in their offer of a holiday to Vanuatu is beyond me, but it’s very generous. Much better than a free cocktail on arrival. I’ll take ten. Wonder if there’s a limit on how long you can keep the airfares in your back pocket for?

I note the email seems to have been prepared in Singapore by an organisation which appears to be called Planet 49 and/or “Vertical Response”. A cursory search online reveals they might be part of this global company.

I cannot help but wonder how hot their phone lines will be running after this little quality control issue is pointed out. Which they will be, just as soon as I get hold of the marketing manager at Virgin Australia Holidays and pipe up with “My name is Mr Wellthisiswhatithink, I’d like to go to Vanuatu please and I claim my free flights to Hamilton Island too.”

Tee hee.

Meanwhile we note in the media yesterday that Virgin Australia is raising $350 million from shareholders to reduce debt and provide cash for its new business strategy.

The airline will offer existing shareholders five new shares for every 14 that they currently hold, at a discounted price to their current market value.

“This capital raising is designed to enhance liquidity and the gearing position of Virgin Australia to ensure we are in a stronger position moving forward,” chief executive John Borghetti said in a statement on Thursday.

The airline has been restructuring its business, including an update of its technology, implementing a stronger passenger loyalty program, and increasing its access to global markets.

Our italics. Might we suggest as part of the effort that 10 additional cents worth of proof-reading wouldn’t go amiss either? Or should we ask why you don’t use an Australian company for your outbound email marketing …. hmmm? No, we couldn’t possibly do that.

For the dozens of other Advertising and Sub Editing F*** Ups we have spotted, just type F*** Up in the search box. And in particular don’t miss yesterday’s Social Media F*** Ups of all time.

Enjoy.

“I … Well … Look … Um … Maybe … Perhaps they … Er … Miss Faversham, could you get Marketing on the line, they appear to have made something of a faux pas.”

Unbelievable. Even by our stellar standards.

It is simply not possible to imagine an ad dumber than this.

Unless, of course, Dear Reader, you know better …?

And no, we will not, no matter however you beg, plead and cajole, be drawn into speculation as to what a “Minnow Shot” might be …

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(Thank you for the spot, David Oliver.)