10 epic marketing fails of 2012

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Most campaigns come and go without much notice. To varying degrees, those campaigns are effective for the target audience and memorable only to the people who worked on them. But there are two other groups of campaigns that do stick in our industry's collective memory -- those that were brilliant and those that were just plain awful.

We spend much of the year talking about the brilliant campaigns that push digital forward. But as 2012 draws to a close, it's time to briefly shift our focus to the flops -- the memorable failures that made us cringe. The dreadful ideas that made us ask, "What were they thinking?"

10 epic marketing fails of 2012

But the point here isn't to delight in the folly of others. In their own way, each of these brands had what we might call a teachable moment. It's worth examining the marking fails of 2012 if only because, sometimes, you can learn more from failure than you can success.



Craig Boyte
Craig Boyte December 5, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Very nice piece, it's amazing how brands don't learn from each other. Microsoft has a Twitter fail going on right now with their #DroidRage campaign.

Adam Kleinberg
Adam Kleinberg November 28, 2012 at 9:12 PM

Wow. Surprised by the Nike ad. I thought it was brilliant. Saw it live during the Olympics and remember how moved I was that Nike would come out and say: greatness isn't just about being an Olympian, greatness is about just doing it.

Loved the piece though, Mike.

Sean X
Sean X November 28, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Loved this Michael. Thanks for making my job easier :)

Katharine Panessidi
Katharine Panessidi November 28, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Great article!