Got Punk’d: Marketing moves that backfired

Social media marketing is slowly gaining importance because of its cheap and and effective communication with the customer.In fact the best brands in the world have already marked their presence in Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. But one needs to be cautious because the same customers who praised you, may also get against you.
Below are few examples in which social media backfired on the company which promoted its products using it :
The automobile company got good reviews for their Superbowl ad recently.But that positive mood didn’t stay much longer. An employee from their media agency posted a tweet deriding Detroit by using a F-word out of confusion that he was using his personal account, he made this mistake.The company quickly apologized and deleted the tweet. But they went a step further and removed the employee. This raised opposition from across the social media.Many people felt removing the employee was unnecessary as to err is human. (Moreover Eminem who acted in the ad is know for F-word curses!.nice brand association).
Gap’s New Logo Fiasco:
Gap a prominent cloth brand recently changed their logo and updated it in social networks for the user reviews. Within minutes the feedback came with slithering effects. Vocalized primarily on Twitter and Facebook, some users called the logo amateur while some users said that the new Gap logo looked like that for a “finance company” or a “tech company”. One Twitter user even went so far as to complain that the new Gap logo “looks as if it were done in Microsoft Word”.
An outrageous fan even made a website mocking Gap’s new logo design. But at the end Gap reverted back to its old logo due to overwhelming consumer’s response.
Nestle’s Facebook Failure: 
The fiasco started when Greenpeace posted a video of an office worker biting onto a orangutan finger instead of Kit Kat. The ad was posted to oppose Nestle’s purchase of palm oil from an Indonesian company which is accused of illegal deforestation (Orangutan’s home). Nestle used many tactics to remove the video from youtube. This got Nestle into more trouble. Facebook and twitter were flooded with lots of complaints and negative comments along with altered logos. Nestle simply deleted the messages instead of tackling the situation in an appropriate manner. At last when customer threatened to ban the usage of its products,they stopped purchasing palm oil from that company.
Bottom-line : Be cautious in your approach towards social media ! Handle it carefully 
[The article has been contributed by Sandeep Kumar Reddy. He is presently pursuing his PGPM from United World School of Business, Ahmedabad. He is interested in Brands and Advertising and his hobbies include watching movies, travelling and portrait drawing.  ]

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