Top 10 Marketing Blunders of 2008

Yeah, there’s a lot more than 10 here. What can I say? It was a very good year for very bad things.

(PS: If you liked this would you mind going here and voting for it on Digg?)



The John McCain Presidential Campaign

  • “Our economy, I think, is still — the fundamentals of our economy are strong.”
  • Has no idea how many houses he (or his wife) owns.
  • Picks Sara Palin, the Broad to Nowhere who couldn’t find Russia or Africa on a map.
  • Campaign adviser and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina says Palin couldn’t run a major corporation.
  • Campaign adviser and former senator Phil Gramm says Americans are whiners about economic problems.
  • “Shutting down” his campaign to fix the bailout.
  • “Lipstick on a pig”
  • Egregious attack on Dungeons & Dragons that clearly cost him the election. (OK, maybe not so much the last one).


Runners Up

  1. Ford features “Space Oddity” — a song about astronaut suicide — in new car campaign.
  2. Framingham State College  uses the word blah 137 times in a 312-word fundraising letter.
  3. Disney (multiple entries): Bans kids from DisneyWorld restaurant; Changes “It’s A Small World” to “A Salute to All Nations, But Mostly America; and Sells “High School Musical” panties for tween girls with the phrase “Dive In” on them.
  4. Woolworths (UK) launches Lolita brand of beds for young girl
  5. JetBlue lives up to Southwest’s parody ad by charging for pillows.
  6. Russia uses smiling kids in tourism ad for war zone
  7. Residents of Lesbos sue those other lesbians over brand name
  8. Motrin gets headache from viral moms video
  9. Butcher’s ads feature “Meat Products, Fresh Service” on naked woman
  10. Hershey asks if you’ve found Mr. Goodbar

Special Jury Awards

Co-Branding That Shouldn’t Have Been

The Alpha & Omega of Over-reaching

Product Failure

The Penguins Of Irony “Oh NO You Din’t” Awards

Previous years’ lists

Penguin seal


We get results: Hershey pulls candy that looked like drugs!

Loyal readers will of course remember the national outcry that followed after I posted that about Hershey selling a white powdered form of breath mint in packaging identical to the small bags used to sell crack, heroin and cocaine. (And by “national outcry” I mean … ummmm … exactly not that.) Well, apparently terrified by the thought of further sarcasm from yours truly — or maybe it had something to do with the concerns of the police — Hershey is pulling the offending version of these breath mints.

That’s one solution. The other solution would have been to sell it to addicts and spin it as an attempt to help ween then from drugs. PR BONANZA!!!

Cops unhappy with Hershey for selling white powdered candy in small plastic packets

Apparently you can have too much street cred.

candy Police in Harrisburg, PA, say Hershey’s Ice Breakers Pacs are identical to the small bags used to sell crack, heroin and cocaine. Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector William Blackburn told the Philadelphia Daily News that “It glorifies the drug trade. There’s really no reason that a product like this should be on the shelf.” A spokesman for the company said any resemblance was coincidental.

Note: There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that Hershey is considering having people sell individual packets of Ice Breakers on street corners. Nor that the company is very excited about its new pricing scheme. No truth. None. That’s just the kind of rumor that gets people in trouble, so DON’T SPREAD IT! Nope. Don’t do it. This would just increase sales among bored white kids in the suburbs. So don’t do it. Unless you own Hershey stock.


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