The intention of an advertisement is to purposefully draw attention. To effectively promote a product or service, the brand must first capture the attention of their target audience. And while there is no exact science to advertising, there are methods to gauge the success of any given campaign. So, how do some advertisements completely miss the mark?
Wrong Time; Wrong Place
When you hear the name Nationwide, you probably hear the cheerful “Nationwide is on your side” jingle. However, thanks to the advertisement aired during the Super Bowl in 2015 entitled, “Boy,” you may now have a bitter taste in your mouth. This advertisement focused on an important issue: childhood death. However, it aired to an audience that was gathered with friends having a good time. The tone was jarring to the target audience and it flopped. While they knew their demographic, they completely missed the mark on their message placement. The reaction would likely have been much different had the advertisement ran at any other time.
Falling Flat on a Cultural Movement
In addition to the tone of an event, advertisers must also consider cultural happenings. You’ll recall that Kendall Jenner starred in a Pepsi advertisement in 2016. However, Pepsi completely failed to anticipate the social ramifications with their target audience. While tapping into cultural movements can be good for an emotional connection, failing to anticipate the reaction can be crippling.
Likewise, it’s important to dig deep into all the possible interpretations of an advertisement’s messaging. Bud Light fell victim to this faux pas with the slogan that accompanied their #UpForAnything campaign. The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night,”was meant to inspire viewers to purchase Bud Light and let loose. Though their intent was to target an audience who was up for anything,”their creative team failed to realize how their messaging could be misinterpreted.
The intention of an advertisement is to draw attention and generate conversation. However, being the topic of discussion for the wrong reasons is certainly not ideal. So while these advertisements definitely made a splash, they each missed the mark.
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