4 Memorable Marketing Moments of 2014
There have been a number of successful and unsuccessful marketing campaigns this year, here are a few that caught our eye.
Whether they were carefully orchestrated and carried out according to plan, or they went in completely the wrong direction, the main question to ask here is – is there such a thing as bad publicity? And how quickly can you spin it into something good?
1. THE FREE U2 ALBUM
Sneaky Apple and U2 joined forces this year in what was probably the most talked about marketing campaign in 2014.
In case you missed it, Apple placed U2’s new album ‘Songs of Innocence’ on every users’ iTunes to coincide with the launch of the iPhone 6.
In what they probably thought was a good idea at the time inevitably lead to mass uproar as customers woke up to the songs on their playlist.
After major outcry and millions of messages on social media platforms, blogs, forums and the press, Apple quickly developed a 1-click tool for users to remove said album from their music completely.
Our verdict: It was a nice idea to offer the album for free. Maybe next time they should ask before.
2. THE WATERSTONES’ HOSTAGE
As previously documented in a past blog post, Waterstones hit the headlines after staff unwittingly locked a customer in over night at their London store.
David Willis, a tourist to the city, Tweeted for help, only to find the social media team had finished their shift. Willis’ plight gathered momentum on social media and users followed the updates via various trending hashtags.
Thankfully Willis was released just after midnight and Waterstones were able to reassure worried parties that he was free via their Twitter account.
A few days later, Waterstones very cleverly used the event to their advantage by offering the chance to win an overnight stay at the store, complete with breakfast.
Our verdict: We have a sneaky suspicion there may have been a PR team behind this one, but we will have to wait and see!
3. NAUGHTY US AIRWAYS
For reasons unknown, earlier this year the US Airways Twitter account shared a somewhat crude photo to their half a million followers.
The Tweet was since deleted but how many of their thousands of followers managed to get a screenshot of the offending image during the time it was public?
US Airways removed the image and issued an apology saying they were unaware of the situation and said:
“We apologize for an inappropriate image recently shared as a link in one of our responses. We’ve removed the tweet and are investigating.”
Our verdict: I think it will take a long time for people to forgive and forget, but is a lesson to all to always keep an eye on what you are posting on your company’s social media platforms.
4. UNEXPECTED #LIDLSURPRISES
Back in September, leading supermarket chain Lidl launched their latest ad campaign designed to harness the power of social media through a dedicated hashtag #LidlSurprises.
Its aim was to address the public’s perception of the chain by encouraging its customers to share their experiences.
This would have been fine, if it wasn’t for the great British traits of sarcasm and complaining. Users quickly hijacked the hashtag and used it as a butt for their jokes and defamatory comments.
Our verdict: In the most part this campaign was very clever, but you never can predict how the public are going to react to a hashtag and unfortunately for Lidl, there was nothing they could do about the rude messages!
What do you think of our pick of the year? Are there any others that stood out? Let us know by commenting below or Tweet us.