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The biggest marketing fails by huge companies

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Any marketing mistake published worldwide can be a nightmare for a company.

Mistakes can happen, and most of the time it is because businesses try to focus more on creativity than the actual product.

Marketing campaigns and advertisements can also be hit by an improper tone or simply bad timing.


If you want your brand to thrive, then marketing and advertising is a must.

But it doesn't always go well, making the viewer respond by saying "what were they thinking?"

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McDonald's: The Fillet-o-Fish

McDonald's launched a new advert in May 2017.

It showed a boy trying to discover similarities with his deceased dad.

At the end of the ad, the boy is delighted as he finds out that his father loved the same burger as he does - the McDonald's Fillet-o-Fish.

The commercial was slammed on social media, who said it was described as troubling and upsetting.

McDonald's was accused of manipulating and using the affliction and pain of children by selling food.

Due to the response, Mcdonalds issued an apology which said: "This was by no means an intention of ours. We wanted to highlight the role McDonald's has played in our customers' everyday lives - both in good and difficult times."

Dove: body shape bottles

Dove is a global brand with a range of skin products.

In the past, it has been praised a lot for its natural beauty campaigns.

The business has shown a difference in the meaning of beauty for individuals.

A lot of adverts feature beautiful people, with perfect, sculpted bodies.

But Dove has been praised for running reality-based advertisements.

They claim to have a motto that idolizes body diversity and spreads confidence in women of all shapes.

However, an ad made in 2017 caused a huge controversy.

The business launched limited edition body wash bottles in different shapes resembling women of various sizes.

The campaign didn't go as expected and was mocked a lot.

Women said it made them feel more self-conscious when picking a bottle.

It was even criticized by Kristen Bellstrom of Fortune's broadsheet newsletter.

Adidas: Boston Marathon Email

Adidas sponsored the 121st annual race in Boston in 2017.

Following the race, an email was sent out congratulating everyone who completed the Marathon.

The email's subject read: "Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!"

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However, in 2013 the event had been targeted by terrorists, who bombed a section of the race near the finish line.

The attack led to three spectators being killed and 250 people being injured.

The wording of what was clearly a well-intentioned message to the runners, particularly the word "survived" was deemed by many to be grossly offensive.

It later transpired some of the survivors of the attack were running in the race that year.

Adidas issued an official apology.

In a statement to TIME, the company said: "We are incredibly sorry. Clearly, there was no thought given to the insensitive email subject line we sent Tuesday. We deeply apologize for our mistake."

Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death in 2015, and again in 2022 after an appeal. There are currently more legal battles taking place over the conviction.

Tsarnaev plotted the attack with his twin brother Tamerlan.

Tamerlan died in the aftermath of the attack after he was run over by a car being driven by his brother as he tried to escape during a gunfight with police.

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