What are some of the most shocking advertising campaigns out there? Can you believe the ads that a French Non-Smoking advocacy group released?! Find out all about the most shocking ad campaigns in this video!
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Here are some of the most shocking advertising campaigns!
8 - Nivea - White is purity
In April 2017, NIVEA released one of the most controverial ads of the year. Their ad was published on Facebook that was aimed towards the company’s Middle Eastern customers. The ad was essentially promoting a new invisible deodorant; it showed the back of a woman’s head with long dark hair, with the rest of her body wrapped in a white robe. Underneath, the slogan stated, WHITE IS PURITY. The Facebook post was captioned with, “Keep it clean, keep bright. Don’t let anything ruin it, along with the hashtag, Invisible.” The ad was quickly the center of social media where social justice warriors quickly came together to force the company to apologize.
Twitter was filled with people who were calling for Nivea to fire anyone in the marketing department who approved the ad. Meanwhile, essentially groups that are associated with the alt-right were unabashedly supportive on twitter with the new direction Nivea was taking.
NIVEA promptly removed the ad from Facebook, and a spokesperson for the company formally apologized for the post, stating that the image was inappropriate, the ad wasn’t reflective of their values as a company. They also stated that Diversity and inclusivity were NIVEA’s core values, taking pride in creating products that promoted beauty in all forms. Their other ad for the “invisible” campaign that stated “Black stays black. White Stays White” was still on the Nivea Middle East page. I mean, white’s obviously a color associated with purity, and I don’t really think Nivea meant it the way people are taking it, but then again, that’s just me! File this one under dumbest corporate mistakes!
7 - Heinz – QR disaster
In 2015, Heinz faced worldwide embarrassment when a German customer scanned a QR code on the back of a bottle and was directed to a barn site. Daniel Korrel scanned the company’s promotional QR code only to find out that the link had expired, and instead a porn site had taken over the address. The code was of course, originally planned to redirect to a promotional site of Heinz in Germany, but when the promotion expired, so did the link. Whoops! He quickly reported the incident to the company’s Facebook page, stating that their ketchup was probably not for minors.
The code was quickly redirected and no longer links to a very not-safe-for-work website. A spokesperson for the brand arranged the delivery of another bottle to Korrel and issued an apology for the outdated QR code and website link, which were initially planned as part of a promotion to design a Ketchup label. Seriously, only one bottle? Thank goodness for Heinz, not too many people were exposed to the mishap, because really, no one in their right minds scans QR codes!
6 - Pepsi – Jump In!
Ahh Pepsi. Remember that whole debacle when they accidentally lit Michael Jackson’s hair on fire?! Well, Pepsi had another one on their hands in 2017 when they released their “Jump In” campaign, a new ad that basically tried to appeal to millennials and the rise in social causes in US culture.
The campaign, starring Kendall Jenner, was obviously trying to show the company sympathizing with the Black Lives Matter movement. However, social media wasn’t amused. The ad shows Jenner modeling with a blonde wig on with dark lipstick. She sees a protest going on, so she takes off her wig, wipes away her makeup, and changes into an all-denim outfit that makes her “one of the people”. Immediately after joining the protestors, she spots a wall of menacing police officers and, lo and behold, she hands a police officer a Pepsi and he drinks it. The protesters all cheer in unison at their savior.
The social media uproar was almost immediate. Memes mocking the ad started filling twitter. Basically, people were super pissed that Pepsi tried to use the Black lives matter movement to move more soda.