Tag Archives: brands

Bloomingdales’s Slammed With Social Media Outrage Over Date Rape Ad

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Wow. I just wrote about an idiotic bank ad which made light of environmental issues and now we have a Bloomingdales’ ad which many say makes light of date rape.

A Christmas print ad for the retailer shows an image of a woman and a man with a very questionable headline between them. The headline reads, “Spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking.”

Like every brand which finds itself in this situation, an apology has been issued on a Facebook post which reads, “In reflection of your feedback, the copy we used in our recent catalog was inappropriate and in poor taste. Bloomingdale’s sincerely apologizes for this error in judgement.”

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In reflection of your feedback, the copy we used in our recent catalog was inappropriate and in poor taste. Bloomingdale's sincerely apologizes for this error in judgement.

Posted by Bloomingdale's on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

In reflection of your feedback?

How about upon reflection of our brand’s incredible idiocy and insensitivity and common sense and, well, everything?

Here’s the full ad:

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And here’s the outrage:

And the brand’s apology on Twitter:

Who’s running things at these big brands?

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Bloomingdales’s Slammed With Social Media Outrage Over Date Rape Ad

Idiotic Bank Ad Makes Light of Environment, Social Media Goes Bezerk!

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Did you miss me?

You would think after all these years we would have moved past the point were brands make egregious lapses in judgement knowing full well the wrath of social media outrage will rain down upon them like a ton of bricks. But, apparently, no.

A Philippine bank, BDO Unibank has apologized for an ad it ran which made light of environmental issues. In the ad, which carries the headline “Save the environment or save up to see places,” a man can be seen holding a sign that reads, “Stop deforestation” behind a woman who is enjoying her travels. The word “or” is placed between the two.

The bank has since apologized for the ad in a Facebook post which read,”We apologize that the Ads have been very insensitive. The posts have since been removed and we have taken steps to resolve the matter internally.”

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We apologize that the Ads have been very insensitive. The posts have since been removed and we have taken steps to resolve the matter internally.

Posted by BDO Unibank on Friday, November 13, 2015

Predictably, and with good reason, social media outrage filled Facebook comments including mocking the brands automated bot which responded to every tweet with, “Thanks for your feedback.”

The ad has been pulled by the bank but not before screenshots were taken preserving the idiocy for time immemorial.

Environmental advocate Renee Karunungan snagged a screenshot and pointed out the bank’s owner, Henry Sy, owns a firm that cut down trees to build a parking lot and erected a building which caused massive flooding during a typhoon because they blocked waterways.

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So BDO Unibank deleted this post. But of course there is a reason screenshots were made. Im putting it back so that we…

Posted by Renee Juliene M. Karunungan on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Here’s a Storify of the outrage the ad has caused:

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Idiotic Bank Ad Makes Light of Environment, Social Media Goes Bezerk!

The 5 Worst Mistakes “Expert” Marketers Are Making in 2014

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When online “experts” share their “expertise,” it is always advisable to observe with some skepticism. While the Internet can be considered the modern bastion of knowledge, opinions, and ideas, it is not completely dependable.

In fact, most of what you can find on the web is unreliable information. Take the case of online marketing as an example. Many online marketing “experts” who preach their supposedly effective strategies embarrass themselves by the failure of their ideas in their own practical application.

The following can be considered the worst mistakes in online marketing in 2014. They represent the biggest misconceptions in marketing being peddled by self-proclaimed marketing experts and even by those who have had some real experience in online marketing.

Too Aggressive and Too Much Marketing

Everything in excess is unlikely to be good. This concept also applies to online marketing. Inundate your audience with excessive promotional materials and you are bound to suffer undesirable consequences. It’s alright to place typical text or banner ads on popular pages online. It’s fine paying for occasional sponsored blog posts.

However, it’s barely acceptable paying people to stimulate (or force) interest in a product through blog commenting, annoying forum hopping, and making bloggers writing patronizing posts about the products being marketed. Even worse is the act of some companies in paying trolls to spread negative information or to aggressively criticize competing brands or products.

Hopefully, everyone has already learned the lessons of Samsung getting fined for paying people to troll or bash HTC.

On the other hand, excessive marketing on social media can also backfire. Flooding Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms with marketing posts will likely become an annoyance. It will associate the brand or product being marketed with something not so pleasant.

Obvious Paid Blog or Social Media Posts

There’s nothing wrong with paying bloggers to write about a product or brand. Likewise, it is acceptable to pay popular Facebook or Twitter users to occasionally write promotional posts for a product or company. However, to make the most of their impact, they need to be properly executed.

People nowadays are smarter and are able to distinguish marketing posts or company press releases from objective news or blogs. Also, it is not advisable paying for positive reviews especially for blogs or sites frequented by many devoted brand fans. These fans will easily spot the biases and will be relentless in criticizing such partial reviews to the detriment of the one paying for such reviews.

There’s a reason why Microsoft had to distance itself from “paid mention” marketing strategies earlier this year.

While the adverse consequences of the paid partiality will mostly impact the credibility of a blog or site (not directly on the brand or product), fans of competing brands will not stop in trying to prove their point and present arguments and comparisons that will only highlight the weaknesses of the product being promoted.

Comment sections on blogs and sites are becoming a standard feature at present so it is very easy for criticisms on paid posts to be published on the same page where the paid post is published.

Lousily Conceptualized “Viral” Content and “Trending” Topics

Viral videos and other content online can be used for marketing purposes. However, they should also be properly thought out. It is important to avoid offensive, too risky and risqué, discriminating, politically incorrect, and polarizing content for viral marketing. Videos that become viral for the wrong reasons will only harm a product or brand’s image.

Similarly, “hijacked” hashtags and obviously forced “trending” topics are unlikely going to yield the results desired so it’s better not to do them. A company-initiated hashtag on Twitter, especially one that is vague or too self-serving, easily attracts negative and sarcastic feedback.

Strictly Sticking to a Plan, Refusing to Tweak

This is a classic marketing problem especially for those who offer their marketing solutions professionally. Many marketers still have the practice of presenting marketing plans to their clients and pursuing these plans without paying attention to the reactions or even to the past performance of said ideas.

Because they firmly believe in their “expertise,” they think their plans are infallible so, for them, there’s no need to adjust; quite often, the result of a raging ego. Many of their marketing plans, unfortunately, have not been optimized to get the best results possible; oftentimes due in part to lack of testing and assessment or trying to apply traditional outbound marketing tactics to the ever-evolving modern web.

It would certainly be helpful to do a study to find out if a plan works or if it can be improved further. AB-testing is always a viable option whether the campaign is assessing the performance of website landing pages, email marketing messages or adverts.

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Too Much Focus on the Marketing, Not Coordinating with the Sales Team

The ultimate goal of marketing should be to encourage sales. A successful marketing campaign translates to good sales volumes. That’s why it’s very important for marketing and sales teams to coordinate.

For online companies, the critical point in the success of a marketing campaign is when a potential customer arrives at a landing page. A landing page is the page where the potential customer makes a purchase, avail of a service, or sign up for a subscription. It presents the most important opportunity of convincing a potential customer to proceed with the purchase.

Hence, it’s only logical to properly design a landing page, to incorporate techniques or design ideas that will encourage a purchase.

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Fortunately, there are tools that can help in coming up with effective landing pages and there certainly is no excuse for marketers failing to keep up. The landing page creator from GetResponse, for example, helps marketers to not only create highly optimized landing pages but also test various designs and assess conversion rates, signups and other metrics.

Or, a free website builder like IM Creator will allow any marketer with a dream to quickly create custom landing or sales pages in a matter of minutes to support any online activity. Better yet, for truly aligning sales and marketing teams, client relationship management services like Salesforce or Pipedrive become necessary for sharing information on clients and collaborating on marketing efforts.

The point here is that the tools exist to make sales efforts, marketing and collaboration effective and those who are slow to adapt with suffer.

Being mindful of these mistakes will help improve marketing efforts. Many of these errors are coming from a traditional way of thinking and approach to marketing in the old corporate world where the negative consequences were less evident. Adapting requires being nimble, attentive and promoting a culture ready to shift plans and strategies as the markets demand it.

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The 5 Worst Mistakes “Expert” Marketers Are Making in 2014

40 Brand Logos With Hidden Messages

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Here’s an infographic from UK agency Oomph that details the hidden imagery and meaning in 40 big brand logos. Many, like the arrow in the FedEx logo, you may already be aware of. Some you may not.

Take a look.

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40 Brand Logos With Hidden Messages

Victoria’s Secret’s ‘Body’ Bra Line Comes In Many Sizes But You’d Never Know It From This ‘Perfect Body’ Ad Campaign

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Pity the poor woman who doesn’t live up to Victoria Secret’s definition of perfection which probably hovers somewhere around 5’8″, 34C-22-34. If you don’t come close to those measurements, it appears you should should shop elsewhere.

A new campaign for the brand is touting a line of bras they call Body by Victoria. The ads carry the headline, “The Perfect Body,” along with images of, well, women with “perfect” bodies.

Certainly there’s an aspect of every advertising campaign which aims to be aspirational, motivational, uplifting in a way that, ideally, cause a person to respond, “I want to be like that. I want to be better. I’ll have what she’s having. I want to be better. Etc.” And a nice motivational kick in the ass is a good thing every once in a while.

But when woman are subjected to this onslaught of “this is how you should look” messaging from advertisers that, let’s be honest, isn’t attainable in every case, it’s a recipe for depression.

Yes, Victoria’s Secret, and many other advertisers have long sent this message. But they usually dance around things. This campaign doesn’t. The words “the perfect body” over a line up of women with perfect bodies is hardly dancing around the message.

Over in the UK, a petition posted on Change.org by 22-year-old Frances Black against the campaign has amassed over 775 signatures.

Of the campaign, Black says, “A brand like Victoria’s Secret is hugely popular in America and in the UK, and they mainly market to young women. It’s really hurtful to women’s self-esteem. I’d like them to apologize and take accountability for choosing the wrong words for the campaign. I’d like them to amend the wording and pledge not to use such harmful language in the future.”

Note that she isn’t asking Victoria’s Secret to stop selling bras that help women look more perfect. Because most people do want to do whatever they can to look/be better. But they don’t want to have soul-crushing messaging and imagery thrust in their face on a daily basis.

Black petition reads, in part, “Every day women are bombarded with advertisements aimed at making them feel insecure about their bodies, in the hope that they will spend money on products that will supposedly make them happier and more beautiful. Victoria’s Secret’s new advertisements for their range of bras Body use this tactic, and send out a damaging message by positioning the words ‘The Perfect ‘Body” across models of exactly the same, very slim body type.”

And yes, we get that the way the headline is written, The Perfect “Body,” implies they are saying Victoria’s Secret has the perfectly sized bra for your body, it’s word smithing like this that just hides the fact there is too much focus on perfection.

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Victoria’s Secret’s ‘Body’ Bra Line Comes In Many Sizes But You’d Never Know It From This ‘Perfect Body’ Ad Campaign