11 Advertising Campaigns That Backfired Spectacularly


An idea might sound great during a marketing meeting but when exposed to the public eye…things can take a slightly different turn, not necessarily for the better.

Sometimes, something that sounded creative and catchy in the conference room can result in a complicated mess that can affect a brand in unexpected ways. This is exactly what happened to the companies on our list who took their eyes off the prize in search of that viral video or trending tweet but missed their mark.

Read on to discover some clear examples of advertising campaigns that backfired spectacularly and made everyone wince.

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1 thought on “11 Advertising Campaigns That Backfired Spectacularly”

  1. That McDonalds ad was not at all objectionable. In brief for those who haven’t seen it, a boy (maybe 10 or 11 years old) is asking his mom about his dead father. He is not bereaved, he does not even remember his father who died long ago. His mom points out a number of things in describing him. Each time, the thing about the dad is different than the son. (Sharp dresser, shiny shoes, good at sport, all the girls were attracted to him… while the boy notices his shirt untucked, his sneakers dirty, he kicks a soccer ball and flubs it, and some girls passing by only give him a look of disgust). But when they get to McD and he opens his fish sandwich box, his mom says ‘that was your dad’s favorite too’. For the first time he hears something he has in common with his late dad.

    Not a thing in the world wrong with that and the people who spend all their time looking for reasons to be offended should get a life. Nobody was using bereavement to sell sandwiches.


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