15 Legendary Marketing Fails

These marketing fails made us facepalm. Image source.

There’s just something so cringe-inducing about witnessing others’ marketing mistakes. Our last post on the subject, 15 Epic Marketing Fails was a hit. And so was our Facebook album packed with pictures of embarrassing marketing fails.

So back by popular demand, we have rounded up the best of the worst marketing fails.

Today’s categories:

  • Genius or Fail? When marketing fails are so horrible, you wonder if marketers did it on purpose. And if they did, does the phrase “Any publicity is good publicity” really ring true?
  • Grammar & Spelling Fails. When something is representing your brand or marketing your product, please, please remember to double check your work.
  • Ad Placement Fails: When one ad meets another and causes chaos. When marketers pay good money and then editors screw it up.
  • Miscellaneous Marketing Fails: These can’t be categorized – except maybe with the word WRONG.

Genius or Fail?

She takes a what, where?

These marketers clearly did this on purpose. Pro: They got people talking about their ad. Con: They compared their product to “sheet.” So is it a fail? Or did they succeed in making this ad go viral?

Marketing FaiI take a sheet in the pool

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Come a little closer

What do you think, marketing genius or marketing faux pas? Are these marketers going a little too far?

Marketing Fail Funeral Services


So Susan Boyle’s Album Release Twitter HashTag was one big mistake…but hey, publicity is publicity, right?

Marketing Fail Susan Boyle

Grammar & Spelling fails

Apostrophe please

What is the spelling on the actual cake going to be?

Marketing Fail Cakes For All Occasions

Free Joining Fee

Loves me a free fee? Wait, what? I have to pay?

Marketing Fail Free Joining Fee

Ad Placement Fails

Shameless Tricks

Shameless Tricks? Well, Mr. Editor-in-Chief, you should be ashamed. Please make sure you look at BOTH sides of the fold before you approve the magazine for print.

Marketing Fail Ad Placement Fail

QR Code Fail

Of course I will climb down onto the track and step over the railing to launch my QR Code scanner. Let me get right on that… Death wish anyone?

Marketing Fail third rail QR Code

Laughing so hard right now

Laughing at you. Not with you.

Dear Editor-in-Chief, Please remember where you place an ad is just as important as the ad itself. Sincerely, Marketers everywhere

Marketing Fail Placement

Father’s Day Fail

This really makes you want to “treat him.”

Marketing Fail Fathers Day

Miscellaneous Marketing Fails

Strong Call-to-Action

This call to action was so strong , someone took it to heart.

Marketing Fail If It Ain't Broke Break It

I Spy With My Little Eye…

We’re putting the ball in your court. What exactly is wrong with this ad?

Marketing Fail Nicolas Cage

Today is the Day…

We fire the marketing team. Please, remember your audience.

Marketing Fail Today Is The Day We Take The Stairs

Celebrity Endorsement Fail

Common Oprah. I had higher expectations coming from you.

Marketing Fail Twitter for iPad

Sexual Innuendo Fail

Hmmm. Not sure if this is an ad for a touchless faucet or…

Marketing Fail The Moment Your Forearm Has Been Waiting For

Racist Fail

Word on the street is that this may be fake. But still.

Marketing Fail Racist
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About Stefanie Grieser
As the 9th employee at Unbounce, Stefanie Grieser has gone from scrappy startup marketer to passionate, scale-up leader, heading up international markets, partnerships and events. She was named top 100 female marketers to follow and loves turning a good idea into an impactful, memorable experience. Find her on Twitter @smgrieser.
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