6 January 2012 |

Tamar’s Friday #FailureToLaunch #13 – “Just stop bloody TWEETING!”

In what can only be a sign of the impending apocalypse, this week has been a super, bumper, AMAZING week for #FAILs and marketing boo-boos. So much so that I’m going to have to limit this to 5 or 6 stories, to save your eyesight. I’ll keep them all punchy, as there are plenty to amuse you…

Greenpeace vs Volkswagen, Round 94

Those pesky (and usually very correct) meddlers at Greenpeace having been giving Volkswagen a lesson in Facebook flashmobbing this week, with a “to be expected” weak response from the car giant.

When Volkswagen took to their Facebook page to ask what people would like to see them doing more of in 2012, Greenpeace encouraged people to reply with “stop lobbying against climate laws” – and over 800 people did. Amazingly, Volkswagen managed to do a perfect impression of somebody who doesn’t care by replying to almost every single comment they got EXCEPT the ones about climate laws. Strange that…

Siri abuses child in Tesco

As well as being one of the most surreal headlines this week, the news that Apple’s “Personal Assistant” Siri apparently swore at a 12 year old while he was shopping in Tesco amused us greatly. According to The Sun, the child asked the iPhone “How many people are there in the world?” and was sworn at during the reply – seemingly due to a prank a previous user had played with the phone. You can read another account of the story here on the Telegraph‘s website.

Anybody else worried that AI apps talking back is the first sign of SkyNet?!

Ocean causing sea-sickness

If you can make it past the “Updates” that the author of this article has added (annoyingly all before you actually read the thing), it’s worth reading the story of how “Ocean Marketing” showed some AMAZINGLY poor customer relations when dealing with a customer who had not yet received his order for two PS3 controllers.

The story itself is interesting, but even more so when you watch the stunning array of cock-ups the people at Ocean managed to pull out of the bag after it “went public”, including labelling a number of big industry figures “douches” and delivering a very amusing rant about how much influence they have online…

Despite my slightly mocking tone, it’s even worth reading the 30 updates which have come about since the story broke – the man in question seemingly doesn’t know where to stop…

Some 4chan ad’vice for Vice

The trendy hipsters at Vice magazine got a little more than they bargained for recently, when they opened up an offer to fans to comment whatever they liked, promising that it would all go in the magazine. Presumably they were expecting to be lauded as purveyors of free-speech, in the same mould as Anonymous and the other organisations they were celebrating.

What they probably weren’t expecting was a hoard of 4chan’ers going to the page to tell them how much they hated Vice magazine – have a look at the results here. Credit where it’s due, Vice DID honour their promise and print them all, at least on the website from what we can see…

La Redoute get it all out

As virtually every newspaper gleefully reported this week, clothing brand La Redoute were left red-faced and probably a little flustered when some eagle-eyed shopper spotted a mans genitals in their catalogue. Worse still, the man in question was in a photo of four fashionable kids on a beach.

You can see the photo in question by clicking on the thumbnail on the right (it’s only small – the thumbnail I mean) but I warn you now, you WILL be confronted by a naked french man, albeit a small one.

Before anyone cries “Photoshop!”, I should point out that La Redoute have already admitted blame and apologised for the gaff.

Just stop tweeting, okay?

A number of high-profile people have got in trouble because of their tweets this week – so much so that you could probably do an entire edition of Failure to Launch devoted to them. Here’s the low-lights:

  • Snooker player Mark Williams had his knuckles wrapped after some naughty language he apparently tweeted, which resulted in a disciplinary.
  • Coronation Street actress Cather­­ine Tyldesley has apparently received a “dressing down” from the oft-mentioned show bosses, due to some over-zealous tweeting about companies and brands which her family and friends had interests in.
  • And let’s not forget Labour MP Diane Abbott, who had to apologise this week when a tweet she wrote (apparently “misinterpreted”) after the result of the Stephen Lawrence murder trial caused offence.

We know these folks are only human, but it’s times like this that make you wonder whether some people shouldn’t do a little more thinking before putting finger to keyboard… But hey, we’ve all been there, right?

Kanye West IS Steve Jobs

Superstar r-app-er Kanye West revealed a bizarre ambition this week, in the middle of a very long-winded Twitter session where he announced “DONDA”, his new “collective of creatives”:

“DONDA is a design company which will galvanize amazing thinkers and put them in a creative space to bounce there dreams and ideas,” … “I am assembling a team of architects, graphic designers, directors musicians, producers, AnRs, writers, publicist, social media experts, app guys, managers, car designers, clothing designers, DJs, video game designers, publishers, tech guys, lawyers, bankers, nutritionist, doctors, scientist,teachers…”

All fairly superstar so far, I’m sure you’ll agree. But West went on, revealing his primary ambition with the project: “We need to pick up where Steve Jobs left off”.

As the Guardian aptly point out, with those 22+ teams he’s building, somebody might like to point out to West that Jobs’ mantra was all about FOCUS – not 22 teams making a plethora of products.

Bless him.

Henry Elliss

Managing Director at Tamar, I've also headed-up the Search team for 7 years.

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