Marketing Horror Stories Every marketing professional wants their campaign to be memorable. They want consumers to take notice — or take the bait — and make their company a big profit. But sometimes, things don’t go exactly as planned. The campaigns below certainly won the attention of consumers, but in each case, what started out as a marketing dream quickly turned into a nightmare. • Back when “Oprah” was the biggest show on television, KFC ran an ad offering a free two-piece chicken meal with two sides and a biscuit for anyone who went to their website and downloaded a coupon. Over 10.5 million coupons were downloaded, and KFC had to give away $42 million in free food. A Lesson in What Not to Do
“Just replaced two chimneys in our home. The best crew ever, led by Anthony Baer. Would not do it without him! Seamless execution, permitting, and cleanup. I sell real estate and have used Boston Brick & Stone for inspections and chimney work, but never in my own home. I can honestly recommend them highly to everyone having experienced their professionalism firsthand. Thank you for making this such a nice experience!” –Ma rci M . Rock-Solid Reviews • In the 1990s, Hoover Company in the United Kingdom offered two round-trip plane tickets with the purchase of a vacuum. Unfortunately, even in the ‘90s, most vacuums were still cheaper than plane tickets, and Hoover lost 50 million pounds in what remains the biggest promotional disaster ever. Cartoon Network Causes a Bomb Scare Guerrilla marketing can create valuable word of mouth — think about the success of the movie “IT” last year. The marketing for the film included simple red balloons tied to storm drains. But Cartoon Network didn’t have quite the same luck in 2007 when they tried to promote their show “Aqua Teen Hunger Force.” When the network put electronic devices featuring a character from the show all over Boston, city residents thought the strange contraptions looked like bombs and called the police. This triggered a terrorist scare that ultimately cost the general manager of Cartoon Network his job.
Fiat’s Direct Mail Disaster In 1992, women across Spain received anonymous letters inviting them to go on a “little adventure.” The letters stated, "We met again on the street yesterday, and I noticed how you glanced interestedly in my direction." Fearing a stalker, many women locked themselves in their homes. A few days later, another letter arrived, revealing the identity of the “secret admirer” as the new Fiat Cinquecento. Yes, the creepy letters were part of a marketing campaign by the Italian car company. Fiat apologized and ended the campaign after criticism from consumer protection groups, Social Minister Cristina Alberdi, and the 50,000 women who received the letters. KFC and Hoover Can’t Do Math A shocking number of companies hold giveaway promotions without calculating exactly how much they will cost. Here are a few examples.
•Inspection •Restoration and repair •Construction •Sweeping
•Inspection, restoration, or repair of an existing structure •Installation or reconstruction of new structures
•Backyard patios •Outdoor kitchens and barbecues •Outdoor steps, walkways, and paths •Retaining walls •Outdoor fireplaces •Driveways
HISTORICAL RESTORATION Our previous restoration work includes the following:
•Restoration of the main lobby chimney system of the El Tovar Hotel on the Grand Canyon’s South Rim •Repair and restoration of chimneys in 56 original historic cabins on the Grand Canyon’s North Rim •Historical chimney restoration for the lodge in Bryce Canyon National Park •Faithful restoration of the chimneys on the Nottingham and Arden properties in Beverly Hills
BRICK RESTORATION AND CONSTRUCTION DRIVEWAY CONSTRUCTION
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