fbpx

Top four high profile marketing disasters from top companies as McDonald’s apologise for ‘Sundae Bloody Sundae’ blunder

Top four high profile marketing disasters from top companies as McDonald’s apologise for ‘Sundae Bloody Sundae’ blunder

Click to browse SellMeSomething.co.uk


MCDONALD’S clearly thought it had hit on a piece of marketing genius when it promoted a dessert offer in Portugal with the words “Sundae Bloody Sundae”.

But customers weren’t lovin’ it, due to the grim associations with the atrocities in Northern Ireland.

McDonald's were forced to apologise for insensitive ad that unintentionally referenced the Troubles

McDonald’s were forced to apologise for insensitive ad that unintentionally referenced the Troubles

Bloody Sunday is commonly used to refer to one of the worst days of The Troubles, when soldiers killed 14 people during a civil rights march in Derry in 1972.

Yet this link clearly went unnoticed by marketing gurus at the fast food chain who came up with the slogan for their Halloween-themed promotion.

Photos of the advert were met with a massive outcry when shared on social media, prompting the company to issue a swift apology and immediately pull it from Portuguese outlets.

In a statement, McDonald’s said that the pun hadn’t been intended as “an insensitive reference to any historical event”.

They’re certainly not the first firm to strike the wrong note with customers. Here, AOIFE FINNERAN looks at other high profile marketing disasters.

KIM KARDASHIAN’S KIMONO

SHE’S the world’s most successful reality star with a Midas touch when it comes to branding.

Kim Kardashian had to change her brand name after the public were outraged

Reuters

Kim Kardashian had to change her brand name after the public were outraged

Yet while Kim Kardashian can achieve record sales of everything from clothes to games to fragrances, her underwear range hit a seriously bum note.

The savvy entrepreneur played on her name by calling her shape-wear collection Kimono, but she was immediately accused of cultural appropriation.

Furious critics also claimed she was disrespecting the traditional Japanese outfit and disregarding the significance of the ethnic dress.

The skin-coloured shape-wear, similar to Spanx, has since been re-named Skins.

RIHANNA’S GEISHA CHIC

NOT content with being a successful actress and singer, Rihanna has also made a very lucrative foray into cosmetics with her Fenty Beauty range.

Rihanna had to remove a shade of her highlighter as people found the name offensive

Rihanna had to remove a shade of her highlighter as people found the name offensive

But her carefully honed image took a serious kicking when she chose to name a red highlighter “Geisha Chic”.

Fans of the brand were horrified, claiming that the name was “insensitive” towards the Asian community.

They argued that the term smacked of cultural appropriation by trivialising the centuries-old tradition of Japanese geishas — who were women that worked as entertainers and paid companions.

Eager to minimise the reputational damage, Fenty took the decision to remove the highlighter from shop shelves.

GUCCI’S BLACKFACE JUMPER

GUCCI is guaranteed headlines twice a year as its fashion week runway shows dictate the fashion trends for the coming season.

Gucci's jumper from their fall/winter 2018 range was branded a 'blackface' jumper

Gucci’s jumper from their fall/winter 2018 range was branded a ‘blackface’ jumper

But nobody rushed to buy the black turtleneck sweater that featured in its Autumn/Winter 2018 collection.

The balaclava jumper featured a mouth cut-out with red panels that looked like exaggerated lips, which bore an unfortunate resemblance to blackface caricatures.

Amid huge public outcry, the fashion house issued an apology, removed the jumper from its site and announced that it would be hiring a global director for diversity and inclusion.

MERCEDES-BENZ’S “RUSH TO DIE”

WHEN you’re trying to sell a flashy car, it makes sense to appeal to customers with the promise of speed, comfort, luxury and, of course, safety.

When Mercedez Bens broke into the Chinese market they named the brand something that sounded like 'rush to your death'

Getty – Contributor

When Mercedez Bens broke into the Chinese market they named the brand something that sounded like ‘rush to your death’

But Mercedes-Benz got it spectacularly wrong when it launched in the Chinese market.

Translating a brand name is a tricky business given that the Chinese language has thousands of characters with multiple meanings and pronunciations, so brands usually devise a new name that’s as close as possible to the original.

The German car firm’s first attempt at translation was “Bensi”, which didn’t go down well with the local market because the name sounded like the Chinese equivalent of ‘rush to your death’.

The company later changed the name to Benchi, which means ‘dashing speed’.

H&M’S “COOLEST MONKEY IN THE JUNGLE”

IT was all about the optics for H&M when it added new jumpers to its kids’ range last year.

HM sparked outrage with their Coolest Monkey in the jungle jumper

AP:Associated Press

HM sparked outrage with their Coolest Monkey in the jungle jumper

At first glance, a green hoodie with the phrase “coolest monkey in the jungle” wouldn’t be cause for comment, but the jumper was modelled by a black child.

Adding insult to injury, a similar jumper with the phrase “official survival expert” was modelled by a white child.


The outrage at what was perceived as “casual racism” was immediate and widespread.

Canadian RnB star The Weeknd, who had produced menswear collections with the chain, immediately cut ties with them, while activists trashed H&M stores in South Africa.

The image was immediately removed from the website.








Amazon’s 30-Day FREE Trials






Click to browse SellMeSomething.co.uk

x