Marketwave’s Most Awkward: Best (or worst) branding fails

Posted by on May 10, 2013

No one loves awkward moments more than the Marketwave team. Luckily, top brands have provided us with great fail fodder over the past 12 months. Here’s a list of our favorites:

  1. BIC for Her: A beloved local columnist, Ellen DeGeneres and sarcastic Amazon reviewers agree that this was one ugly mistake by a typically vanilla brand.
  2. JC Penney’s “Kill the Coupons” Strategy: Somehow managing to alienate both loyal shoppers and new ones alike, this bold idea didn’t quite align with the brand promise of great shopping at great prices. Plus, with the positive buzz about couponing in the past couple of years, it wasn’t on trend, either.
  3. Brand Fails on Social Media: Stubhub’s angry employee tweet, insensitive posts about Hurricane Sandy and Mercedes’ failure to respond to a Super Bowl burn all got equal nominations from our team. When it comes to social media, brands must exert clarity and control, or face angry backlash.


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