The Biggest (Funniest) Marketing Fails We’ve Seen


Not every marketing campaign is a hit. But some misses are more memorable than others. Here, the team at Ironistic share some of their favorite failures — so we can all live and learn.

Socially-unaware campaigns

The biggest failures seem to be when there’s a national tragedy and teams don’t check what’s on tap. There was Cartoon Network leaving suspicious boxes all over Boston after the marathon bombing. The Gap promoting online shopping during Hurricane Sandy or the NRA not checking their social schedule after the Aurora tragedy.

– Kimberly Brock, Digital Strategist

Good grammar (and editing) matters.

I saw a magazine cover that featured Rachael Ray, and the title was Eat, Ray, Love. Under that it said Rachael Ray finds inspiration in cooking her family and her dog. This is why punctuation matters! It went viral and everyone was saying Rachael Ray cooks dogs! Turns out the magazine was photoshopped, but this is still an example of what could happen if you don’t use the correct punctuation! HA!

– Alexis Bignotti, Marketing Assistant

Making unrealistic promises

I will never forget when Sunny Co. Clothing made a HUGE marketing mistake in 2017. If Instagram users reposted one of their images and tagged them, they would get a free bathing suit. They weren’t prepared for the post to go viral and thousands of people reposted the image. They couldn’t fulfill that many free orders, so they had to put a cap on it, which didn’t sit well with people. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, y’all!

– Rebecca Howard, Marketing Assistant

Say what you mean.

I remember listening to Jay Leno’s bit on advertisements that were double entendres. The company meant to say one thing, but it came out in a totally different way. I find this really funny! For this reason, I think that people should hire 10-year-old boys to go through their marketing materials prior to publishing. I guarantee you they will catch every one of those double entendres!

– Brandon Vreeman, Front End Developer

Good intentions gone bad

It would have to be the Kendall Jenner Pepsi campaign. Something that could have come off so impactful, ended up being a tone-deaf approach to selling soda. What I would have done differently is…maybe not use social justice or protest to promote anything!

– Shah Faridi, Digital Strategist

Where sometimes matters just as much as what.

Lori Malcolm IronInsights

When people ad QR codes to things you can’t reach or access — like across the subway track — or when ad placement conflicts with another message or ad. See great examples: https: //unbounce.com/funny/legendary-marketing- fails/

– Lori Malcolm, Content Writer

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