Five Terrible Advertising Campaigns
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Five Terrible Advertising Campaigns

Five companies that did not have common sense.

Five Terrible Advertising Campaigns
Patrick Robert Doyle, Unsplash

Whenever a company wants a product to stand out, they try to create an ad that people can remember. Unfortunately, some companies do not take the time to look at the ad to make sure that it does not give them negative publicity. Without further ado, here are five terrible advertising companies that did get people to remember their ads, but probably not in the best way possible.

Dr. Pepper Ten's "Not For Women"


Dr. Pepper Ten's slogan "It's not for women" is considered one of the most controversial campaign ads in modern time. Around 2011, Dr. Pepper decided to create a product designed to target specifically men. This version of Dr. Pepper was the exact same beverage, but only ten calories. They made the commercials very bizarre and considered "manly." By the end of the commercial, the spokesperson would say "It's not for women." This brought controversy among women as well as people demanding to stop marketing Dr. Pepper Ten as a drink that is not for women. Eventually they decided to change the slogan to "The manliest low-calorie soda in the history of mankind." Overall, this campaign led to a negative image for Dr. Pepper as well as negative publicity in the media. It eventually led to a decline in sales for Dr. Pepper. Oddly enough, Dr. Pepper Ten showed growth due to the fact that it did not say the word "diet," which people found uncomfortable and found the "ten" to be better.

Pepsi "Live Louder"


Pepsi's "Live Bolder" commercial featuring Kendal Jenner is considered to be a very uncomfortable commercial. Pepsi decided to create a campaign called "Live For Now" and according to Pepsi, they wanted to target millennial's as well as to "to project a global message of unity, peace, and understanding." The commercial consisted a crowd of people going through a street for what appears to be a protest. All of a sudden, Kendal Jenner pops up and hands a Pepsi to a police officer. A lot of people thought that it was a very bad ad due to the fact that someone could possibly have thought of, "A can of Pepsi can solve world problems." Hundreds of people were disgusted by the ad by bringing the attention onto Twitter by using sarcastic remarks about the ad. Some users even mentioned that Pepsi should not have cast Kendal Jenner and should have had someone else that was not white. With the low perception that the younger generation had, it led to a decrease in purchase consideration among the millennial generation.

LifeLock's CEO Hacked

Los Angeles Times

This ad campaign is probably one of the dumbest ad campaign in history. The CEO of LifeLock (an identity theft protection company), Todd Davis decided to put his social security number on a number of ads in order to promote how effective LifeLock is. Unfortunately, though not surprising, there were thirteen confirmed cases of Todd Davis's identity to be stolen by hackers. This even led to the Federal Trade Commission to fine LifeLock due to false advertising. Not only that, but it costed the company millions of dollars as well as ruining its reputation. Oddly enough, the company still exists despite it being breached multiple times.

Sony's PSP "White Is Coming"


Sony's PSP was one of the most interesting gaming devices of all time. It is considered by many to be a device ahead of its time. It was not ahead of its time in terms of making sure that it was not a tone-deaf ad. The original PSP was released only in the color black. Sony decided to release a different color option for the PSP, a white version to accompany. The billboard ad was displayed in the Netherlands and it gained negative publicity immediately. The ad was removed immediately as soon as people spoke out against the ad. Even so, the NAACP of San Jose/Silicon Valley strongly disliked the ad by stating, "The latest Sony ad conjures up bad memories of when stereotypical and offensive images of people of color were accepted means of selling a product." Based on the aftermath of this controversy, it is considered by many critics to be the worst campaign ad in modern history.

Halo 5's "Hunt The Truth"


The Halo series is by far one of the most beloved video games of all time. It revolutionized first person shooting as well as making the multiplayer and campaign memorable. What I remember the most when Xbox introduced Halo 5 Guardians was that people were extremely excited to see Master Chief once again. As time went on, new elements of the story started to build and came a character in the series, Spartan Jameson Locke. Nobody knew what the story was going to be about other than the heavily advertised quote "Hunt The Truth." Nobody knew what "Hunt The Truth" was and it had commercials of both Spartan's in different perspectives implying the two sides to every story concept. Unfortunately, when the game came out, the Halo community was very displeased. The campaign was the complete opposite of what was marketed and the marketing had no relation to the story at all. The story overall was not this dramatic feeling of as the trailers interpreted, but rather it being a heartwarming story about a soldier finding his friend/AI companion. While Halo 5 Guardians became the biggest sales record in Xbox history, it is also the lowest selling Halo game in the franchise in the UK. "Hunt The Truth" damaged the Halo fan community due to the fact that they were lied to and it is considered one of the worst, if not the worst Halo because of the disappointing story that people were definitely not expecting.

Some people say that any publicity is good publicity, but sometimes there has to be some critical thinking that comes with it. For instance, people have to think about what can happen if the ad goes south: How bad will people view the company? Will sales decline in the long term? How many potential consumers are you going to lose? The best way to avoid negative factors is to take a step back and view it from the consumers perspective. If it is not a good perspective, then start over. If for some reason the company wants to make a controversial ad to get people to talk about their company, I suppose go for it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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