Examples of Social Media Marketing Campaigns in India that Failed

  1. #AgarMaKaDudhPiaHaiTo by Fortis Healthcare

You would probably avoid a ‘1980s villainous dialogue’ in a hashtag when you’re celebrating breast feeding week. Well, water under the bridge. But you wouldn’t mess it up further like Fortis did. #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. Serious dearth of reputation management!

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. ‘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. If your social media manager mixes up Facebook with Twitter, you should be looking for a new guy.

  1. 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.

Burgs India – TomatoGate

When you’re a burger joint that refused to serve a burger sans tomato to a patron allergic to raw tomatoes, you deserve to get bashed on Twitter. And when you tell that the reason behind it is ‘Company Policy’, you get to be ridiculed.

After too much of bashing by the Twitter community, Burgs India finally included ‘optional tomatoes’ in their Company Policy. If only they had removed the slice on tomato at the first instance.

  1. Snapdeal – Cheap Tricks

Facebook shows Snapdeal ads, on users page, that are very captivating but don’t really deliver what they show. The ad is a trick to get the user to click on it and go to Snapdeal.com. For e.g there have been ads showing Domino’s Pizza at Rs. 15 from Snapdeal.com. When the user clicks on the ad though, the concerned offer /ad does not exist. Many users also have come across ads which show women’s pictures with headings ‘Hi Handsome’. Many users complained about the cheap tricks that Snapdeal had been playing to attract customers to its website.

After a lot of complaints Rohit Awasthi, Head – User & Communities at snapdeal.com replied back apologizing for such advertisements. However, this caused a lot of reputational damage to Snapdeal.