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Tamar’s Friday #FailureToLaunch #10 – “QANTAS! JESUS CHRIST, QANTAS!”

Henry Elliss
Henry Elliss
Managing Director
25 November 2011

It’s been a bumper week for funny videos this week. As with a few of the previous issues of FTL, some of them aren’t quite FAILs in the traditional marketing sense, but they’re all so brilliant we just HAVE to include them. Even if you’ve seen them before, we like to include the classics just in case you need reminding of their brilliance. So here goes…

FENTON! Oh, Jesus Christ. FENTON!

If you’ve not seen the brilliance of the Fenton video yet, you will thank us for sharing this. In a nutshell, a man innocently filming the deer in Richmond Park captures a moment of comedy gold, as a dog walker chases his dog Fenton who appears to have decided to do some deer-herding. As the dog herds the deer across the park and over the road, the man can be seen chasing Fenton and shouting various commands to make him stop.

The best bit of the entire video (in my humble opinion) is the quiet chuckle of the man filming, right at the very end. Here’s the original, in case you haven’t seen it yet:

The most amusing part of the burgeoning internet phenomenon was the confusion over the dog’s name – some said “Fenton”, others thought “Benton” – with a collective sigh of relief sounding via Twitter when Christian O’Connell on Absolute Radio “confirmed” it as Fenton. As you can see from the Daily Mirror’s coverage of the story, they took a spread-bet approach and called him one thing in the title and another in the URL. Crafty…

As with all good internet memes, it’s bound to inspire a whole bunch of spoof response videos – and I for one can’t wait to see what they come up with. Come on internet, don’t let me down! Our favourite one to appear so far is the Jurassic Park effort:

Is it ’cause I is near da river?

In a move reminiscent of Soviet-era Russia, English town Staines has been having some major marketing issues this week, following a suggestion to change the name of the town to ‘Staines-on-Thames’ – in response (it seems) to the reputation the town has gained thanks to Ali G.

Spelthorne borough council voted on the name change this week, following a public consultation which appeared to back the move. However, a number of the town’s residents have taken badly to the proposed change, suggesting it could leave the town open for even more ridicule.

One plucky resident commented:

“How about if 500 people wanted to change the name back next year? You could do it, or we could go one better and change it every year. That is the reason why people see this as ridiculous, places that change their names are places like Stalingrad.”

We don’t know about the people of Staines, but we quite like that idea. Let’s hold an X-Factor style competition every year to decide on a new name for Staines. My vote for this year goes to “Fentonville”… : )

A saucy move from Heinz

Heinz got themselves in a bit of hot water this week, as a Facebook issue on their page caused the sauce-makers to offer hundreds of free bottles to fans who placed orders during a promotion, only to find Facebook hadn’t put them through.

In a move which SHOULD have resulted in positive PR, Heinz were offering fans of their Facebook page the chance to be the first to order their new “Balsamic Ketchup” by posting on their wall. But a “glitch” on Facebook resulted in the brand having to offer free bottles to over a thousand fans, as a gesture of goodwill.

As FAILs go, it isn’t very funny, I’ll give you that. But it gave us the opportunity to use a few puns, so where’s the harm in that?!

Qantas campaign likely to stay on the tarmac

Whilst Heinz’s fail was a relatively pain free one, Australian airline Qantas are suffering slightly more red-faced embarrassment as a result of a badly-timed Twitter promotion.

Qantas’ Twitter account asked followers to tweet their ideas for a “dream luxury experience” using the #hashtag “QantasLuxury” – a relatively innocent request, but one that didn’t go down too well during a long and drawn-out dispute between Qantas and their workers.

As you can probably imagine, they received quite a few less-than-savoury replies – here’s a few examples:

Unfortunately for Qantas, they didn’t pick up on the negative sentiment very quickly, with several blindly-optimistic tweets from the account only serving to throw fuel on the fire. Our favourite was:




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