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Tamar’s Friday #FailureToLaunch #18 – Still Failing after all this time

Henry Elliss
Henry Elliss
Managing Director
13 April 2012

It’s been a busy few weeks here at Tamar HQ, with Fridays seemingly the busiest day of the week. Subsequently, it’s been a few weeks since our last ‘Failure to Launch’ – but it’s back with a bang today, as I’m sure you’ll all be relieved to hear. As ever, there’s been some great FAILs in the world of marketing, so without further ‘ado’ let’s crack on with some of our favourites….

Just a drop in the ocean…

There are some things in life that are inevitable – and I don’t just mean death and taxes. For instance, whenever we get cold weather in April, or hot weather in winter, some joker will invariably start bandying around the old “Whatever happened to global warming?” cliche. And just as surely as that happens, a British hose-pipe ban usually results in torrential rainstorms – once again forcing jokers everywhere to quip about how useless the British weather/government/whatever is as a result.

Well thankfully for those of us who like a chuckle, this year’s hose-pipe ban has been supported by an expensive marketing campaign, which has included a load of billboards telling us how bad the drought situation is – which naturally gives rise to a lot of opportunity for comedy shots of rain-sodden high-streets featuring the poster. So far the banter has been limited to Twitter, but we’re keeping our eyes peeled for the inevitable photos of the “We are in drought” poster lying in a puddle…

QR = Quite Ridiculous

These have been doing the rounds for a while now, but as we’ve been away for a few weeks it seemed appropriate to remind you all of them – some of the best (or worst) examples of bad QR code usage. Good old “we’ll write a story about anything, particularly if it’s trending” Mashable did a good piece on it, as did Business Insider… as did this blog.

You get the picture – everyone’s doing it (both failing and writing blogs about it…!) – so we’ll save you the trouble of reprinting them all here, as you can read them all perfectly easily. Here’s our favourite though:

It’s the real(ly permanent) thing

Marketing behemoths Coca Cola found themselves in hot water recently, when an agency helping them to promote their wares in New Orleans made a bit of a cock-up.

According to the story, street artists were contacted via Craigslist, with various different offers being made in exchange for helping the drinks company to “spray paint” adverts on the sidewalks in various parts of the city. The only slight hiccup here? The city had not granted permission for the ads – and indeed the posts on CraigsList implied that they were very aware of this.

A lot of residents got quite upset with the ads, most of which had to be treated with chemical spray to remove them. Naturally Coca Cola were quick to distance themselves from the agency, claiming they “misinterpreted our permit” – but there were red-faces all round… Nice, bright, Coca Cola red I imagine!

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