Check out these epic fails in marketing campaigns by trolls! From cringy memes to hilarious funny fails, this top 10 list of internet trolling that rekt advertising campaigns is epic!
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8. Susans Anal Bum Party
Thanks to tv talent shows, numerous new stars have found themselves in the limelight in the past decade. Susan Boyle became a worldwide name in 2009 after appearing on Britain’s Got Talent and showcasing her mezzo-soprano voice, which led to her album being the second best selling work of 2009 in the US.
It was a promotional campaign in 2012, though, that led to a comic backlash online. With her new album called “Standing Ovation: The Greatest Songs from the Stage” about to launch, a party was held with the hashtag “susan album party”. It seems her PR company hadn’t foreseen the way people would misread this, as it was soon circling the internet as Su’s Anal Bum Party. They weren’t impressed with this, so changed it to #SusanBoyleAlbumParty, but by this time it was too late and the joke had spread.
Ed Sheeran has also found himself on the end of exactly the same thing recently, with Sheeranalbumparty trending on twitter in March of 2017 after a prank by a local radio station.
It’s all a great example of how words can be misread, and with so many people out there ready to jump on unintended mistakes, it can be really easy for promotions to fall flat.
7. Durex SOS Campaign
Durex are a hugely recognized brand around the world that pride themselves on their unique and edgy advertising, but their ‘SOS’ campaign in 2013 went wrong in ways that even they couldn’t have predicted.
It first launched in Dubai, and the premise was simple. They offered a service that would deliver condoms to anywhere in the city within an hour between 4pm and 4am. That way people would never get caught short, no matter where they ended up on a night out. With their typical humor, the order would be brought by people who were dressed as pizza delivery drivers- adding an extra element of discretion.
So popular was this campaign that Durex wanted to expand it to another city, and decided to choose the next location by running an online competition. This may sound like a cool idea, but they made the fatal mistake of not limiting the options, so the online comedians soon got to work.
Within a couple of months the winner was clear, the chosen city was called “Batman”. You’d be forgiven, at first, for thinking that this was just a case of online trolls hijacking the campaign with the name of their favorite moody superhero, but Batman is, in fact, the name of an ultra-conservative city in the south of Turkey. Durex were soon forced to abandon the campaign to avoid any offence, and haven’t brought the idea back ever since.
6. Coca Cola—make it happy
In 2015, after seeing the torrent of nastiness around the internet, coca cola launched their “make it happy” campaign with a high profile ad during the superbowl. It was a neat idea- if you saw a negative tweet all you had to do was respond with the hashtag “make it happy” and coca cola’s automatic algorithm would convert the tweets into pictures of happy things- like a cute mouse, a palm tree that was wearing sunglasses, or even a chicken drumstick wearing a cowboy hat. Their press release said that they were trying to “tackle the pervasive negativity polluting social media feeds and comment threads across the internet”
A noble aim, perhaps, but it was bound to attract the ire of those it was criticizing, and it didn’t take long. Gawker realized that the bot would re-tweet any text in the picture format, and created a twitter bot that proceeded to tweet the text from with the Makeithappy hashtag. On the morning that it started, coke’s account replied back with the text formatted into the cutesy pictures. This went on for a couple of hours until someone noticed it and suspended the responses. By the next day Coca Cola officially pulled the campaign, saying that “The internet is what we make it, and we hoped to inspire people to make it a more positive place.”
It was perhaps naïve of them to think things would have been any different, but they aren’t the only ones who designed a seemingly nice idea without any safeguards that was soon overtaken…