To follow on from my recent blog post about the best in video marketing from the last twelve months, here’s the flipside – 2014’s Video Marketing Misfires. I’m not saying that these are terrible adverts (well, not all of them), just that they misfired for the companies involved. It just goes to show that you need Video Marketing behind your Video Content.
5: Hotels4U – Anything 4U Cupcake
Ok, this one is terrible. Featuring the worst Brummie accent in recorded history, this advert is equal parts irritating and vomit-inducing. It seems to be attempting to copy the ‘annoying character that you love to hate’ theme that served Go Compare so well for years, but just comes across as tacky and irritating. Not things you want to associate with a relaxing weekend break!
4: Feed a Child – South Africa
This one is a little controversial. The advert draws parallels between the treatment of starving children and animals in quite a clever and thought-provoking manner. However, it chose to use a wealthy white woman feeding table scraps to a small black boy. And then they aired the commercial in South Africa. A serious misstep. The campaign was withdrawn after many complaints of racism were levelled at the organisation. It is hard not to see the racist connotations and tricky to see how the organisation failed to predict the response.
3: Thorne Travel
This advert for Scottish travel agency Thorne Travel is a marvel. The participants (clearly employees of the company) are having a great time in this video, but the whole thing looks unintentionally hilarious. From the ‘choreographed’ dance sequence, to the fake Disney characters (carefully filmed to avoid showing their faces), via the ship’s captain in a uniform at least three sizes too large and the gymnastic man-in-a-dress at around the 2 minute mark, this is a motorway pile-up of an advert.
2: Coca-Cola – Everyone’s Invited World Cup 2014
It’s unusual to find such a huge brand on a list like this, but Coca-Cola managed to seriously offend female football fans with this advert. Women in this advert are classed as either ‘clueless’ (cheering victory when it is only half-time) or ‘admirers’ (cheering only when a player removes his shirt). It implies that women cannot truly be fans of football, that they cannot understand the ‘beautiful game’. Unsurprisingly, they found themselves under fire from women.
Coca-Cola had another misfire on their hands last year, with their Fairlife milk brand. They released a series of adverts based loosely around iconic ‘pin-up girl’ poses, including Marilyn Monroe’s famous ‘blown skirt’ pose from The Seven Year Itch, but with nearly naked women ‘wearing’ dresses made from milk.
1: Sainsbury’s Christmas 1914
This is not a badly made advert. It is not sexist or racist. It is not irritating. Quite the contrary, it is beautifully shot, well-written and a bit of a tear-jerker. It is, however, many have seen it as hugely insensitive and offensive. It uses a heavily sanitised take on one of the most brutal conflicts in history to sell its products on the 100th anniversary of the events depicted. The First World War was at the forefront of the public’s mind, with remembrance events being held throughout November across Britain. The advert was made in conjunction with the Royal British Legion and a percentage of Sainsbury’s profits were to be donated to that charity. But they were still exploiting death and horror to sell their Christmas stock. Many found it distasteful and it was attacked in the media, but the Advertising Standards Authority took no action, stating that it did not break any of their rules. Maybe not, but it was a serious error on the part of Sainsbury’s.
Spot any other Video Marketing Misfires in 2014?
If you have video content but need a hand making the most of it talk to Workshop Media today and get the help you need to make your video work for you!