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When marketing videos fail: five of the worst

We have told you many interesting stories on how videos can be impactful and effective-not only in marketing, but also in entertainment, and even in politics.

As you can guess, the impact of videos doesn’t necessarily need to be positive. If it conveys the wrong message, the amplification power of a video can at a minimum create issues and at the far end of the spectrum, possibly get someone fired.

From the infamous Pepsi and McDonald’s ads, to lesser-known “epic fails,” we look back at some of the worst things you can possibly do in a video. We’ll list them from “best worst” to THE worst.

5. Nestlè

We all know that the Internet community can’t stop criticizing and whining about all kinds of issues. Apparently, among these there is the way we consume cereals. Not exactly a sensitive topic, you might say. Well, the web community noticed something weird in the ad below, and went crazy over it. Can you spot what’s odd in it?

EMBED LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3MngAEIDjg

Exactly – the cereal is poured into a bowl that already has milk in it. Who does that?

What can we learn from this ad? Well, for one thing, your videos always have to be authentic. If it seems a prop, people will definitely notice.

4. Snickers

The Snickers TV advert featuring Mr. T as BA Baracus from The A-Team was pulled after it was accused of being insulting to homosexual men. In the ad, Mr. T is shown firing Snickers chocolate bars at a man who’s speed walking in tight yellow shorts, while yelling, “You are a disgrace to the man race. It’s time to run like a real man.”

EMBED LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ona7QYULRVE

Mars, the company that owns Snickers, released a statement saying “the advert was intended to be funny, but that humor is highly subjective.” Exactly, Mars, that’s why you should not do that.

3. Playstation / Sony

Is there anything more inappropriate than cheap sex innuendo? To launch its portable Playstation Vita, Sony had the “brilliant” idea to feature a provocative female doctor, playing on a questionable double entendre, with a final — and far from worth the gamble — twist.

EMBED LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2v27MFaQUyw

Just to mention some of the media’s reaction, Business Insider called the ad “blatantly sexist” while Jezebel pronounced the bit “stupidly sexist”. That is an appropriate definition: Do you really want to mess with sexual innuendo because it sells? Ok, but at least be clever about it.

2. McDonald’s

What’s wrong with the sad tale told by the video below? Well, nothing per se. If we were talking about a movie, there wouldn’t be anything wrong (except that it certainly would not be a great one).

EMBED LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=S1XM4INk8l8

But this is an ad. And it’s hard to say what’s the saddest part – a kid that has nothing in common with his dead father except for a Filet-o-Fish passion, or the fact that McDonald’s exploits the feeling of mourning to sell more sandwiches. Not cool at all.

1. Pepsi

Not surprisingly, first prize goes to Pepsi for it’s sadly well-known 2017 commercial, in which the soda-colossus clearly failed at depicting an ideal meltin’ pot scenario dominated by love, equality, and Pepsi. The outcome was rather the opposite: a staged and odd situation, in which top model Kendal Jenner joins a surreal multi-cultural demonstration, in which she manages to unite protesters and police, thanks to a can of soda. No other words are needed. 

EMBED LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA5Yq1DLSmQ

The video has been promptly removed by Pepsi’s official Youtube channel but, of course, it’s still all over the internet, where media and tons of other celebrities negatively reacted to it.


In short, when releasing bad videos, there is no going back in the digital world. So what is the message to this madness? Doxee Pvideos can be engaging, interactive and personalized and offer you the ability to create the perfect, well-crafted video for every customer — and keep you off this type of list.

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