Terrible Promotions That Lost Companies Millions Of Dollars

Terrible Promotions That Lost Companies Millions Of Dollars


– [Narrator] If you’re
a small business owner, you might get angry that
the Facebook ad you paid five dollars for, didn’t
work all that well. But imagine some
chief-marketing-officer out there, when he realized that short
of making the company money, his marketing mistake actually
cost his company millions. I’m Jonathan from Be Amazed, and here are the 10 worst promotions that lost companies millions. – Amazing! – [Narrator] Number 10,
the Apple U2 Giveaway. We’ve all probably heard of this one. The story that made U2 into
a meme for years to come. But for those who don’t know, let’s explain it a bit. Apologies in advance for U2 fans. Back in 2014, some genius at
Apple came up with the idea that people would love to
have their new products come prepackaged with an album that
no one really cared about. Now you must be thinking, this
is just a simple giveaway, why is it here at all? Well, aside from the
annoyance it caused for people logging into iTunes for the first time, there also exists a magical
thing called royalties. Apple reportedly paid an
undisclosed fee in royalties to U2 and also committed
a whopping 100 million in marketing campaigns
for the band to promote their new album! As shocking as this is, they
even stepped in to defend the promotion and the band
which led to some undesired responses within various
online communities. Nevertheless, Apple seems
to still be bitter from their mistake because they
got rid of a headphone jack. Number nine, walkers weather promotion. Quick, when I say British weather, what comes to your mind first? If you answered rain, then you’re probably smarter
than the guys running marketing for Walkers crisps. The story goes as follows. Some genius decided that
people would have fun predicting the weather if
they could win a prize for it. So Walkers crisp decided to
pay their faithful customers 10 pounds if they correctly
guessed where the rain would fall on a grid map of the UK. Of course they weren’t that
stupid as they charged every one that cost a packet of crisp, 40 pence, to have a go! But as you probably guessed,
offering a 25 fold return to anyone who can guess
the climate of a country with barely predictable weather patterns, it’s a great deal! Rain kept pouring during
the time of the promotion and Walkers bravely followed
through with their promises at great cost, after the contest was over, Walkers crisps had to pay 660,000 pounds in 10 pound payments to
cover the entire contest. But to be quite honest, you could argue that it ended
up working as a marketing promotion since it made people
remember the name Walkers crisps for years to come. They even got some free
promotion in this video. Number eight, balloonfest of ’86. For some people the word
balloon will cause them to have a flashback to the time
United Way decided to release one and a half million
balloons over Cleveland and screwed up, badly. The whole stunt had a neat
little idea behind it, basically they just wanted
to do a little fundraiser and grab the town’s attention for a while. They built a giant box
the size of one city block and ha 2,500 students
do the balloon filling while they waited for
the crowds to gather. Once the launch started,
it was one of the most beautiful things you could see. For about a few minutes. You see, nobody actually
accounted for the fact that wind exists and
therein lays their downfall. Literally. The one and a half million
balloons started falling to the ground, causing massive damage. They clogged the streets,
waterways and pretty much every nook and cranny of the town. If this wasn’t bad enough, the balloons were blamed for
the death of two fisherman who were found drowned two
days later after the balloons interrupted coast guard
attempts to rescue them. In fact, one of the fisherman’s
wives sued the company for three million, but settled
for an undisclosed amount. In the aftermath, United
Way ended up paying millions to the city and the clean up crews, not to mention settling law
suites from various citizens who were damaged by the balloons. To think that the Persians
in the 300 movie used arrows to blot out the sun, what a waste, they should’ve just gotten
United Way to plan their attack. Number seven, Jagermeister’s
Pool of Death! Okay, I admit it, the
title is a bit too much. But it’s not that far from the truth. This again, goes to show
that marketers sometimes don’t know the basics, in this
addition we go over chemistry some genius in the marketing
department decided that they’ll make a giant pool party for all of Jagermeister’s drunken fans, which is a good start honestly! But then, they wanted to have
a lot of fog above the pool for that added affect
which again, is quite nice! However, what was not really
nice was the liquid nitrogen they used to create the fog
by pouring it into the water. Now this is the bad part. The liquid nitrogen basically
made an unbreathable fog above the whole area
when it came into contact with the water, and the
marketing team must have been shocked upon realizing that
humans need air to survive. This whole event was a mess and actually left one
party go-er in a coma while hospitalizing eight others. Jagermeister never actually
disclosed how much they had to cough up for this mistake, but considering they put
some pour guy in a coma, we can assume that it was a lot. Just goes to show if you
wanna play smoke on the water, don’t go overboard with the chemicals. Number six, the energizer bunny. Now, how could a cute
little bunny screw up a company that much? Well do me a favor and tell
me the brand of batteries you have in your remote. Don’t have a clue? That’s what I thought. And that’s what the marketing
team at energizer realized after it was a bit too late. While the bunny is actually
a cute little mascot and is probably known amongst you young whippersnappers here, you can’t really pull off
that kind of marketing for something like a battery. The campaign was successful for sure, but the problem is that
they actually managed to advertise their competitor
in the battery field. Duracell released a report
after the energizer bunny first aired showing that
their profits had actually doubled at that time because
people thought that the bunny was advertising Duracell. In fact, it worked so well
that Duracell uses a bunny as their mascot now
which you may have seen. While the company didn’t
lose money directly, the drastic drop in sales
and the money wasted on promoting your competitor
is enough of a burn to make sure that they’re
more careful next time. Number five, TESCO and math. TESCO is praised for being
a fairly cheap place to shop in the UK but after this
marketing fail you might think that it’s because they’re
just really bad at math. Back in 2011, TESCO decided to do a special little promotion to outdo their competitor ASDA. Basically it was the whole
we will refund you twice the difference if our
competitors item is cheaper. TESCO sadly forgot that people can count and customers got savvy
by only buying items that were on sale at ASDA. So they would go to TESCOs, buy the same items on sale at
ASDA and then after checking out they would request double
the difference by referring to ASDAs website. For example, one shopper
spent 126 pounds at TESCO on a shop that would have cost 81 at ASDA. And claimed a 90 pound voucher. Therefore they essentially paid 36 pounds for all that shopping. You can see that doing this multiple times would save you a whole lot of money at the expense of TESCO
while this was a monetary and marketing catastrophe for TESCO, you have to give ’em props, they actually made a
promotion that ended up being great for their customers. Number four, Oprah and KFC. We all know that Oprah
is the omnipotent master of our destinies so when
she offered people a free KFC two piece meal, we all jumped! So why was it such a catastrophe? Well you can imagine that
KFC was not all that pleased when people managed to print out over 10 million free food coupons from Oprah’s website. During the time of the promotion, KFC gave away over 40
million worth of free food and probably paid Oprah
a ridiculously amount to do the promotion for them. Needless to say, KFC will
not be contacting her any time soon! Number three, bananas for Stereo. Now before I start, this one didn’t cost a lot of money, but it was really stupid
on the marketing side. It was the same old formula. Savvy customer plus dumb
exchange equals prize. Silo, a chain of electronic
stores decided that the dumb exchange item would be bananas. And the prize would be a stereo. Imagine their surprise when
after the whole thing settled, they ended up with 11,000
bananas in their warehouse, and a lot of stereos given
away for around 40 dollars. These guys ended up being
nice and donated all the bananas to the local zoo but it kind of makes you
think how stoned they had to be to come up with the
idea in the first place. Number two, McDonalds Olympics. I do admit that pairing
McDonalds and something that requires you to be physically
fit is a bit weird, but it gets weirder fairly quickly. During the summer olympics of ’84, McDonalds had a catchy slogan. If the US wins, you win. They included a ticket you
could scratch on every meal and customers would
win a big mac for gold, french fries for silver and a
coca-cola for a bronze medal in the event that was on the ticket. Trouble is, since the Soviet’s
boycotted the olympics, the US ended up with 83 gold medals, 61 silvers and 30 bronze. Basically, McDonalds
lost a huge sum of money because the Russians
were too lazy to compete. It seems that Russia can
screw American businesses even without the hackers. Number one, number fever. Riddle me this, what happens
when you over estimate the power of numbers? If your answer was extreme
riots and lawsuits, you probably worked for Pepsi. In 1992, Pepsi had their
number fever promotion and promised to give
away one million pesos, the equivalent of 40,000 US dollars to one lucky person with the right number on their bottle cap. Trouble is, they had accidentally printed the winning number, 349, on 800,000 caps due to an oversight in
the manufacturing process. Consequently, they accidentally
promised to give away a total of 55 billion in today’s dollars. And so, people just calmly
understood the mistake and caused no trouble. Nahhh, I’m kidding. Thousands of Filipinos began
rioting on the streets, demanding that Pepsi pay
them their rightful prize which now totaled in the millions. People even filed 689
civil suits and more than 5,200 criminal cases
for fraud and deception. However, Pepsi wasn’t entirely at fault. It is believed this marketing fail was caused by D.G. Consultores,
a Mexican consulting firm that Pepsi had hired to randomly preselect the winning numbers. They were clearly instructed
not to make the number 349 a winner, but they
clearly didn’t get the memo. Obviously, with such a costly mistake, Pepsi couldn’t afford to pay
everyone what they promised, instead settled on giving
just under 2,000 dollars to each winner, instead
of the promised 40,000. Regardless, Pepsi ended up
paying closer to 10 million dollars for their whole campaign
rather than their original budget of two million dollars. Looking at the whole list now, a lo of these things
wouldn’t have happened if some people just
did their job properly. Such a shame! Which mistake did you think was the worst? Or do you know of any
others that rivaled them in terms of stupidity? Let me know in the comments down below and thanks for watching. (light beeping)