Branding Blunders: The Sequel

Branding Blunders_The SequelWe are back with more Branding Blunders! If you missed our last installment of Branding Blunders, check it out! Let’s look at a few situations where branding efforts hurt big brands.

Mange Your Social Media Accounts and Change Your Password
We have become more tech savvy as the we have ventured farther into the new millennium. With the population becoming more tech savvy, passwords need to be changed often. Why? Because you don’t want to experience a PR Nightmare like Burger King. In February of 2013, someone found their way into Burger King’s Twitter page and decided to wreak some havoc. The account hijacker changed the Twitter handle name and avatar to McDonald’s and to the McDonald’s logo, and began to post inappropriate content. The lesson is to constantly manage your Social Media accounts and passwords. And for those of you still using “12345” and “Password” as your passwords, perhaps you deserve to have your accounts hacked.

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

Burger King took a few hours to realize the account had been breached. Their account was suspended shortly after but not before their embarrassing posts went viral. Oddly enough, they actually gained followers during the disaster. However, other brands my not have the same luck.

Spokesperson Blunders
Celebrity endorsers can have a major increase on sales, especially if the product is something that the celebrity uses in their profession. On occasion, the spokesperson for a major brand becomes part of a major controversy, which causes issues for the brand, which now has the harrowing task of firing the spokesperson and disassociating with them as rapidly as possible. There are many examples still fresh in our minds. Gilbert Godfrey was fired instantly from his role as the comically misunderstood Aflac duck after he made some tasteless jokes about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

The popular sport clothing and shoe brand, Nike, can’t seem to catch a break with spokesperson controversies. One of the most recent is the Oscar Pistorius’s murder trial. Pistorius had endorsed the Nike brand after his debut in the Olympics with the slogan, “I am the bullet in the chamber.” The slogan may have been fit for a sprinter, but now it also associates with his murder trial, where he is accused of shooting his girlfriend. Nike did not comment on the state of Pistorius’s further endorsement plans, however, they quickly discontinued any relating advertisements. Nike has also experienced controversies with past endorsers like Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, Lance Armstrong, and Michael Vick.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”
Face it. We’re all addicted to Netflix, Hulu, and other video streaming websites. We have become spoiled with commercial-free content available to our televisions, computers, tablets, and phones at any moment’s notice. A few years ago, Netflix decided to split the company and its services into two separate sections. Netflix would remain the streaming section, while Qwikster would become the mail order DVD rental service. This change meant more complications and a slightly higher subscription price for those using the DVD and Streaming combo feature. The company received lots of angry comments from fans who were dropping their subscriptions for Hulu and other streaming services. Netflix quickly dropped Qwikster and went back to the original style, which we all liked in the first place.

Don’t Scare Us Away From Your Product
Do you remember the Burger King… King? Yes. Pull him out of your deepest, darkest nightmares. The creepy emotionless mascot that would appear in peoples beds, to remind them to eat at Burger King. Normally, to find a character like this, you need to watch a slasher film from the 1970s, but Burger King wanted to scare you during prime time. As it turns out, creepy, emotionless masks have never been very efficient at selling food. After Burger King Executives realized that the weird mascot was detrimental to food sales, they cast it away. Fortunately for our readers, we have decided to add a GIF to remind you why you should sleep with a nightlight.

Here are some key lessons to take away from these brands. First, it takes five, maybe ten seconds to make a password. Take the time to make a decent one. You could spend years, even decades, building your brand; don’t risk your brand’s reputation on something so easily remedied. Second, be careful who you choose as an endorser of your brand. Third, don’t try and fix a good thing, just work on making it better. And last, don’t make us associate your products and services with a mascot that would make Stephen King shiver.

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