Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

Top 5 Marketing Fails of 2018

Published in Nov-Dec 2018

From Aurora's 'Top 5ives – 10 Pros in Top 5 Mode' Series.

1. Sooper Hai (read tha) Pakistan Ka Junoon!

This year’s Independence Day campaign from Peek Freans made the top of my list. When the teaser came out, the traction was unbelievable and when the campaign rolled out, I remember uttering out loud, “Why, oh why didn’t they stick to attempting world records (like that cookie mosaic in the shape of the Pakistani flag they did last year) instead?” Peek Freans killed the soul and the purity of a gem like Khudi by Junoon.

2. Shan Foods – Sucha Zaiqa

Making people cry worked last time and they believe the brand can only sell more by making people cry harder and for longer! The campaign was a major success in making people cry, don’t know about the sales. People couldn’t stop crying over the wasted resources, opportunity and screen time. Time to wake-up and smell the yolk...

3. Just Veet It!?

Featuring Mahira Khan promoting body shaming and objectification on a basketball court, this campaign triggered the wrong reaction all over Pakistan. Sana Mir (former captain of Pakistan Women’s Cricket Team) gave everyone a dose of reality with her infamous comment: “Make no mistake. You need strong arms, not smooth arms, on a sports field.”

4.Snapchat – Slap Rihanna

Those of you familiar with the platform know about the ‘Would You Rather’ game they were promoting in March. One of the ads asked users to choose between ‘slapping Rihanna’ and ‘punching Chris Brown’. This disgusting attempt at mocking domestic abuse (which Rihanna suffered at the hands of Chris Brown in 2009, when he reportedly punched her during an argument) was inexcusable.

5.Coke:Coca-Cola – Tu

While criticism around this year’s Coke Studio was perhaps a bigger deal for some hardcore Coke/ music fans, Coke’s TV campaign featuring Momina Mustehsan was a bigger disaster. Perhaps the outcry over Coke Studio’s version of Ko Ko Korina was also partially fuelled by a sudden swing in likeability for Mustehsan post this campaign.

Umair Saeed is COO, Blitz Advertising.