Jagermeister Poison Party, That's Not Oprah, New Coke and Ayds [Marketing Mishaps]


Experiential marketing can bring your brand to life in an immersive and unforgettable fun way. In a medium where creativity is limitless, great things can come from providing a personal and memorable experience, however the experimental nature can sometimes cause unintended results.

To help ensure your promotional events hit the headlines for good reasons only, here are some recent and all-time cringeworthy examples of marketing gone wrong – and the lessons you can learn from them. #youmissedit

Jagermeister’s poison pool party

tumblr_inline_nlm379ml141tqem84_500.jpgA promotional party thrown by Jagermeister turned tragic sending 9 people to the hospital.  Party organizers poured liquid nitrogen into a swimming pool creating a dangerous and toxic situation. The nitrogen created a poisonous fog  that hovered over the pool making attendees unable to breathe and rendering many partygoers unconscious and in serious danger of drowning. Fortunately everyone who was injured recovered and are out of danger. Unfortunately the event was captured on video and posted on YouTube to live on forever. 

A magazine meets Whoopi Goldberg for the first time.

20160310201521-5.jpegTotal Beauty, an online publication, confused Whoopi Goldberg for Oprah Winfrey in a tweet during the 2016 Oscars. In a year in which Hollywood's treatment of racial issues has been in the spotlight, social media reaction to the blunder -- confusing two powerful African-American women in the media -- was swift and merciless.


Agility at its best

marketing-fail-coca-cola.jpgIn 1985, Coca-Cola Company took arguably the biggest risk in consumer goods history, announcing that it was changing the formula for the world's most popular soft drink, and spawning consumer angst the likes of which no business has ever seen. While Coca-Cola Company's share lead in the market, it's lead was slowly slipping for 15 consecutive years. The risky move to re-energize the brand was met with revolt as consumers demanded the old formula back almost as soon as New Coke hit the shelves. One of the biggest corporations on earth had to do a swift about-face by bringing back the old formulation under the label of Coca-Cola Classic which made front page news in almost every major newspaper. Consumer loyalty and affection solidified the Coca-Cola brand as consumers went on to remember their love of Coca-Cola. 

Agility at its worst

In another classic marketing blunder, 70's and 80's popular diet candy, Ayds, did not fare as well. What was at one time a popular diet candy promising to take and keep the weight off, could not pivot fast enough to salvage the company or brand when the disease by the same sounding name broke out on the scene. The unavoidable association proved to be unrecoverable. It's decision to not re-brand and disassociate itself from the unfortunate disease ultimately caused the once popular diet candy company to go out of business. 


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Author Bio | Casey Dubbs | Horizon Display

describe the imageCasey Dubbs, Marketing Manager for Horizon Display. Casey is a classic over-achiever who likes to get the job done right and can’t stand when things are left unfinished or with unmet potential. She is passionate about implementing others’ vision into reality. When she is not obsessing over marketing, she can be found in her garage working on her latest woodworking project. #buildlikeagirl