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Tamar’s Friday #FailureToLaunch #12 – Words with Flight Attendants

Henry Elliss
Henry Elliss
Managing Director
9 December 2011

As we get closer and closer to Christmas, the #fails seem to get better and better – and this week has seen a bumper crop, including the most amusing excuse we’ve even seen for getting kicked off a plane. So, without further ado, let’s crack-on with this week’s stories…

Words With Stewardesses

TV funny man and film star Alec Baldwin found himself in hot water this week when we was ejected from an American Airlines flight. Unlike Gerard Depardieu though, Baldwin’s excuse was a lot more nerdy – he refused to stop playing ‘Words With Friends’ on his iPhone during take-off, despite requests by the stewardess.

Not only did Baldwin proceed to go on a small rampage through the plane, he also “used offensive language” to a stewardess. Which is strange, because my version of Words With Friends doesn’t let me use naughty words!

Not longer after the incident, Baldwin decided to close his Twitter account. No official reason has been given as to why Baldwin chose to close his account so quickly, though we imagine it might be something to do with a major sponsorship deal between the airline in question and NBC, the channel which houses his popular show ’30 Rock’…

Either way, it’s probably a wise idea seeing as how he’s apparently planning to run for political office in the US….

And the winner is…

The prize for most hilarious marketing #fail of the week has to go to HMV, who unwittingly seemed to announce the winner of ITV’s ‘X-Factor’, a week before the final actually happened. Due to what the music retailer referred to as “technical issue”, the HMV pre-orders page listed the X-Factor “2011 Winner’s Single”, along with it’s artist, contestant Amelia Lily.

Despite the retailer’s assertions that “This was due to an unforeseen technical issue, and nothing further should be construed from it.”, the rumour mill went in to full-swing – with conspiracy theorists ready to jump on whatever result is announced and speculate how it’s all a big cover-up. Watch Twitter…

Press Releasicus, Forgeticus!

A major cock-up by a cumbersome PR exec resulted in red-faces for StonehillSalt this week, and there wasn’t a spell in sight to save them. The agency had been tasked with managing the long-term PR strategy for the launch of Harry Potter web “experience” Pottermore, which was due to launch this week.

The exec in question mistakenly sent out a document which contained the entire PR strategy for the life of the campaign, to all the major newspapers in the UK. Whoops. The strategy included details of what coverage they were hoping to achieve, as well as how much they anticipated paying…

A spokesman was quick to claim the document was “old and outdated”, though it hasn’t stopped the launch of Pottermore being postponed, so judge for yourself how true that actually is.

A (bad) lesson in self-marketing

Our favourite story of the week concerned an investment banker who went on what he thought was a promising first date, only to be ignored by his potential flame.

In what must be one of the longest and most painful emails to a first-date ever, Mike proceeds to explain to “Lauren” why he thought their date had gone better than it seems. Amongst his disastrous attempts to woo her back are the following gems (read the full letter here):

You played with your hair a lot. A woman playing with her hair is a common sign of flirtation. You can even do a google search on it.

We had lots of eye contact during our date. On a per-minute basis, I’ve never had as much eye contact during a date as I did with you

You’re very busy. It would be very convenient for you to date me because we have the same interests. We already go to classical music performances by ourselves. If we go to classical music performances together, it wouldn’t take any significant additional time on your part.

After an email as frank and honest as that, we can only hope that Lauren will have seen the error of her ways and taken him on that much-anticipated second date by now… ahem.




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