Are you scared every time you swipe your finger over the publish button in your content campaign?

You should. 😉

I'm not saying this to scare you.

The truth, however, is that a single "post" of the wrong content can boost your brand, accumulate tons of hate speech, and even lose millions of dollars (as I'll show you in an example later). 😨

How can you avoid such nightmares?

You can not. Incomplete. There will always be that terrible rainy day if you hit go on the wrong campaign.

The good news is that there is a way to reduce the chances of this happening.

It's about studying terrible campaigns in the past, learning from them, and leaving those lessons by your side every time you sit down to create content for a new campaign.

Ready to check out four content campaigns that you should never emulate?

Let's go!

4 Horrible Content Campaigns That You Should Never Follow (+ Essential Food Stands That Should Be On Your Bathroom Mirror)

Horror storytelling time.


Read on below

Let's run a Thanksgiving spread ad that will either make you laugh or throw up …

… a campaign a company lost over £ 20 million …

… A social media post that was ridiculed by (then) presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren …

…and more.

1. Thanksgiving Gaffe from Giant Food

Thanksgiving is synonymous with delicious home cooked food and family celebrations.

Even so, things were a little different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Large gatherings were discouraged by the government. Guidelines to avoid "common" foods and utensils have been published.

So if you see an ad like this you will either laugh in confusion or walk into the bathroom and throw up.

Huge campaign

I know right?


Read on below

It's just wrong.

Even the phrase “super spread” is a gaffe that reminds us of the virus's “super spreaders”.

In addition, it is insensitive.

With the massive job losses caused by the pandemic, millions of people are struggling to pay their rent and buy groceries. Who is thinking of a "super spread" at this point?

Bring away: Stay away from deaf-mute content. Be careful and sensitive in your campaigns.

2. Chases Financial Woes Poem

I know we all like to laugh at our money mistakes.

We like hanging out with friends on a Friday night and discussing the stupid expenses we should never have made.

Or the fact that our savings are not what we'd like them to be.

But what if someone else starts laughing at us?

That's a different story.

When Chase posted a #MondayMotivation tweet that ridiculed people's inability to save …

… you can guess the result.

Check out their post.

Chase Twitter Post

The answer was vicious.

Reply to chase twitter post

It all got ten times worse when Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted back with her own poem.

. @ Chase: Why don't customers save money?
Taxpayers: We lost our jobs / homes / savings but gave you a $ 25 billion bailout
Employees: Employers do not pay a living wage
Economists: rising costs + stagnating wages = 0 savings
Chase: I think we'll never find out
Everyone: seriously?

– Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) April 29, 2019

Bring away: Basically, if you started your business to make money, you should basically close it now. Also, don't make fun of the people you serve. I know it sounds obvious. But ridicule comes in many forms. So don't assume that people are stupid. Do not be condescended. Don't say someone is not good enough.

Conclusion: Always come from a place of empathy and help, never criticism.

3. Hoover & # 39; s Free Tickets Ad

Have you ever seen an entire supermarket presentation just to end up getting the free potato peeler?

If so, you will understand the excitement this campaign is causing.

Vacuum cleaner campaign

Hoover's campaign was one of the biggest mistakes in marketing history.


Read on below

That's how it went.

  • People were offered two free flights to America when they bought £ 100 worth of Hoover products.
  • 200,000 people took part in the action.
  • A ton of these people didn't really want or need the products, so thousands of Hoover second-hand products were available for sale.
  • Hoover increased sales to £ 30 million. However, the total cost of the campaign was £ 50 million, excluding the lawsuits and trusts of disgruntled customers.


Bring away: Never sell to people who are not qualified to buy your product. You want to find a need in the marketplace and fill it without forcing people to buy, just to increase sales. Also, don't offer £ 600 tickets for the purchase of £ 100 products. The math just doesn't work. 😉

4. Evergreen Emails from Great Escape Publishing

Ok this one is more subtle.

But I wanted to show you something less flashy to make sure you stay away from the grayer areas of content campaigning.

You know, the campaigns that don't bring an army of angry people with pitchforks to your doorstep …

… But it won't work as well as you hope either.

Here is one of the emails from Great Escape Publishing.

Great email posting

When you read it you think, "This is not that bad."


Read on below

And that's not it.

The only problem is, it probably won't resonate with a lot of people.

Sure, many of us still dream of becoming travel writers.


But right now we're stuck at home. Stuck in our cities or countries. Travel restrictions continue to apply.

Once you've written this email, prepare to have it deleted or saved for “later” (which, incidentally, never happens in the world of content campaigns).

Bring away: Be flexible. Don't stick to your content campaign just because you've been planning it for weeks. For example, we ditched our entire content calendar and looked at brand new post ideas when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Like this one: Content Creation During a Pandemic: 17 Hot Topics.

This is how you can avoid gaffes for content campaigns for good

I know it's super scary.

Your finger moves over "Publish" and you wonder what will happen next.

You heard the terrible stories of content campaigns went wrong and you shudder.


Read on below

But do not worry. In time, the worst mistakes become the best lessons.

Also, you have a variety of mistakes and past lessons to guide you.

Go on. Write down the four food stalls listed here and place them on your bathroom mirror.

Take them with you every time you sit down to create a new content campaign.

Chances are your new campaign avoids the "bad", surpasses the "meh" and moves into the realm of "aha, great!"

More resources:

Photo credit

All screenshots by the author, December 2020


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