Examples of Failed Social Media Campaigns in India

Following are few examples of failed social media campaign in India:

 Dettol India Facebook Contest Fails To Impress

Dettol India in its latest campaign is specifically targeting the confident Indian male. “End Of Day Confidence Challenge” is a Facebook contest where the brand is asking men if they are still confident by the end of the day. So if you think that you are fresh and confident after 5PM, then upload your end of day picture or video and you may stand a chance to win an Adidas gift voucher worth INR 5000. Dettol India’ Facebook page, which has a community of 29,568 fans, is simultaneously running a Facebook ad that leads to the contest. Even if you have not witnessed the ad, just click on the Dettol EOD Confidence Challenge Facebook app and once the authentication is done, you would end up on the below screen. Following are the reasons why this campaign failed.

  • The incentive provided by the brand in this contest has no resemblance to the brand. It would have been great had the brand provided Dettol merchandise to the winners. It would have made much more sense than a Rs.5000/- Adidas voucher.
  • The contest is based on ‘Likes’ which can be done through bogus voting.
  • The app also clearly misuses the app guidelines of Facebook
  • Finally the contest is all about end of day confidence but the message is completely missing from the contest. Many participants uploaded picture which no one can figure out how confidence is being related to it.


Lal Krishna Advani’s Political Campaign

Indian politician Lalchand Kishan Advani, tried to position himself in lines of Obama as a ‘change agent’.  He spent an average of Rs. 250 crores for his genuinely pathetic ad campaigns. He literally targeted all the Indian sites with his aggressive Adwords. Perhaps, while promoting himself insanely he forgot that ‘Advani is not a new product on the market’ which needs crazy branding.

Instead of connecting to the people online in a non-intrusive manner or mobilizing the bloggers to write about him, he preferred spamming the sites of the whole wide India.  His blog also didn’t seem to appeal to the audience much and he failed both in the elections, and on social media.

 Discount contest by Burger King

Burger King made an epic miscalculation when they came up with a Facebook campaign that asked their fans to grab a discount by ‘unfriending’ 10 friends. Facebook soon came forward and asked them to withdraw the campaign which was a serious damage to their business model. However, almost 234,000 friends were terminated by the fans by then and created criticisms elsewhere in social media.

 Vibrator by Volkswagen

When Volkswagen India’s print campaign which had a small vibrator box pasted to their print ad received widespread criticism, they made matters worse in Twitter. When people started tweeting in absolute mockery, portraying the ‘vibrator’ campaign to be a women’s favorite, the company lashed out in a tweet that “women would be dumb to call it a vibrator. Or maybe they do not understand real driving experience. #PunIntended #Volkswagen #Creative”. The company was forced to take down the offensive tweet and apologize.

#AgarMaKaDudhPiaHaiTo by Fortis Healthcare

 This sounds like a ‘1980s villainous dialogue’ in a hashtag. Any organization would definitely want to avoid it when it is celebrating breast feeding week. However, Fortis mess it up further. #AgarMaKaDudhPiaHaiTo tag by Fortis invited one liners for a contest. As it spawned negative reactions, they came up with a lame apology that their account was hacked.

‘Like’ a tweet? – INOX

Character limitations in Twitter tend to create typos. But, does it create things that don’t belong to this micro-blogging platform? INOX, in one of its tweet promotions asked the followers to like a tweet. Clearly the social media manager of INOX mixes up Facebook with Twitter and that caused the failure of the campaign.

 Plagiarism – Jabong via Flipkart, GoIbibo via Makemytrip

You wouldn’t want to plagiarize even if you have a serious lack of content writers. However, it was totally uncalled for when the e-com giant Jabong created a job listing in LinkedIn that said “wanted a Brand Head to drive awareness for the Flipkart brand”. GoIbibo had a bad day when Makemytrip uncovered a tweet that Goibibo copied from them.


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