Over the years, brands have tried to come up with new and more catchy ways of advertising their company and products to seem more appealing to customers. Skittles came up with the idea that one man in their commercials should turn everything he touches into Skittles. Sounds like a good idea right? However, the commercial turns dark when you hear the man say that he cannot hold is newborn baby boy because everything he touches turns to Skittles. Oops. Way to escalate the situation too quickly Skittles.
But Skittles isn’t the only company that has tried to ramp up their advertising only to be criticized or to have their efforts backfire. Other companies over the years have received terrible reviews over one issue or another. Here I am going to give you 3 examples of how companies branding can be beneficial, and ways in which it can be improved to its full potential.
Example 1: Vera Bradley
Vera Bradley is a well-known company that produces anything from purses, suitcases, to laptop covers as well as backpacks. They are very focused on reaching out via social media by asking people to tell them about their favorite items of purchase and asking them to hashtag pictures of their merchandise. They are supportive of Breast Cancer Awareness month by selling bags during their “Carry Pink” campaign and are very supportive of feedback about their products. However, Vera’s most recent campaign slogan, “It’s Good To Be A Girl,” could have been executed better than it was. The campaign was supposed to let women contribute on social media about why they enjoy being a girl, but instead, the campaign didn’t think that not ALL girls want to accessorize with handbags, or “belt out every lyrics to their favourite song.” Needless to say, Vera Bradley knows that THEY love about being a girl, but not considered that all girls experience being treated as a girl the same way.
Example 2: IHOP
IHOP is a wonderful restaurant that allows family and friends to enjoy a cup of coffee while eating delicious pancakes all for a low price. They are great at advertising their newest editions to the menu and having discounts for kids and seniors on a regular basis. However, recently in a Tweet, IHOP made a reference to some pancakes in a photo saying, “flat but has a GREAT personality.” Even if they were referring to pancakes attached to the tweet, that comment comes off more as misogynistic than referring to fluffy, delicious pancakes. Let’s not crack jokes at the female anatomy while trying to sell a product, shall we?
Example 3: Budweiser
Budweiser has captured audiences attention from commercials about friendship at the Superbowl, to reminding audiences to stay safe by reminding people that their “Friends are Waiting” to keep people from driving home drunk. Budweiser certainly knows how to work emotion into their commercials when the time is right, but their advertising record isn’t spotless. Recently Budweiser made a rather large advertising blunder by coming up with the hashtag #UpForWhatever. An image of one of their beers reads, “The perfect beer for removing “no” from your vocabulary for the night.” How did Budweiser manage to write these words and not see the implications is beyond me. Next time Budweiser, let’s not accidentally promote date rape.
Overall, most companies are very thorough when it comes to advertising and how to come up with catchy slogans, pulling us in with emotional commercials, and even catchy hashtags. However, some companies come up with ideas that may not have been the best idea and it backfires on them allowing them to reflect on their mistakes. Advertising continues to evolve and will continue to, but until we are all perfect, let’s sit back and laugh at our past and future failures.