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As marketers, we always try to come up with creative campaigns that would give us this additional edge over the competition. But sometimes, this just doesn’t work out, and what seems to be a great campaign idea on paper, often backfires in the real world.

These five campaigns, for example, didn’t go all that well.

It’s Oscar Time

Paddy Power is a popular online betting platform, and also the main topic for ad criticism in the recent weeks.

The advert presented by Paddy Power shows a photograph of Oscar Pistorius – South African Paralympian – superimposed on a statue of an Oscar movie award.

The copy on the ad says: “It’s Oscar Time. Money back if he walks. We will refund all losing bets on the Oscar Pistorius trial if he is found not guilty.” (Pistorius is charged with murder, now on trial).

There was an enormous backlash after the campaign went live. The Advertising Standards Authority has received 5,200 complaints about it. In the end, Paddy Power was forced to shut down the campaign.

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