5 Worst Content Marketing Stories: What Marketers Can Learn

You are surfing online and then suddenly you notice a weird advertisement. You are like—Does that even make any sense? This is something which many of us must have observed at some point of our life.

There is an extremely thin line between genius and insanity. Such bizarre ads are the result when one fails to notice that line and produce something that is either offending or insensible.

In this post we will discuss 5 worst content marketing stories, where everything went out of hands and the brand’s reputation was jeopardized.

The countdown begins!

5. Malaysia Airlines

People haven’t forgotten the 2 major aeroplanes missing incidence, that the Malaysia Airlines launched an online competition of “My Ultimate Bucket List”. In this game, people were asked the question “What and where would you like to tick off on your bucket list, and explain why ?” Winners were ensured with iPad or an economy class ticket.

The airline just failed to notice the inappropriate use of the word “Bucket List” and its connection with the death.They amended the mistake by canceling all links to that page and asking just the places passengers would love to visit.

4. Bud Light’ Provoking Label

In this list of content marketing stories this example shows how content went haywire to promote illicit activities. This is a beer brand whose label read “Up for whatever”. This encouraged the notion of how beer could be used to turn a ‘no’ into ‘yes’ during nights. Unwittingly it promoted the sexual abuses.

It was dealt with severe backlash resulting in the removal of the label and an apology. Brands must stay very conscious of their content and refrain from producing anything that could be taken in the wrong way.

3.McDonalds Story Didn’t Reach People

It is so famous that asking about McDonald’s is just like asking your name. It is one of the leading fast food brands. No matter how giant figure you are in the business world, things can mess up with anyone.

Same happened with them!! A program “#McDstories” totally intended at receiving customer’s experience with McDonald’s was launched online. Customers were asked to share their stories and experience with this burger producer on twitter. This is what happened:

2. Huggies Dads’ Ad

In an attempt for showing their brand’s product as unbeatable, they ended up displaying how insensitive dads could be. Which is obviously not true!!

In the row of failed content marketing stories, Huggies also ended up stating something illogical. In their ad tagline “Have dads put Huggies to the test” they followed the stereotype for showing how inattentive dads could be if their babies have Huggies on.

1. Walmart’s Body Shaming

Another worst content marketing story! During the occasion of Halloween, Walmart launched a new section of clothing writing it as “ Fat girl costumes”. People were quick to point it out.

Just like other multinational brands, they also ended up with an apology but the image was already tarnished.

Finally, we come to an end of our list of misadventures faced by some top-notch brands. Every instance had one thing in common. All these happened due to the carelessly written content. Thus, one should think twice before making any content go online.

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  • Hello Divya,

    I enjoyed this article. However, as a fellow writer and before I take these facts to heart (maybe even share your piece with my subscribers), can you provide the sources of where you got your facts for each of the five stories you listed?

    Thanks so much!

  • Jessica

    Awful stories! Just can’t imagine how inattentive people can be even in these big companies.