Failed Social Media (SM) campaigns in India

L K Advani Adwords campaign:

It was a Rs. 250 crore campaign by promoting L K Advani as front runner for election from National party BJP ( The twitter, youtube & facebook were all aligned well. But the blog that ran the main information stream about the political leader was not having much content. Also the Google Ad words was to such an extent that for few day users were finding L K Advani ads everywhere on internet. The ads were the factor that spoiled the appeal of the whole campaign as user thought it was something being forced down their throats & that a political party was spending a bit too much on such ads. Too much pushing of a product (in this case a personality) can be harmful.

Flipkart Big billion day:

The campaign was started by releasing various ads on Youtube & TV simultaneously. It was to promote the sale on 6th Oct. 2014 that touted as being the sale as never seen before with many items offered at unbelievable discounts. There was promotion on facebook & twitter handles of the flipkart as well. The users on the morning of the start of sale had many bad experiences while shopping for the discounted items. The stocks did not last for long enough & users also complained about pricing tricks apparently used to show discount look mare that they actually were. It came to notice that domain was bought by the flipkart competition just the day before google started showing up competitor webpages because of this at the top. SM campaign run by flipkart could take a lot of care before going for this initiative which it seemed had not taken.

Sorry email from flipkart ( promoters put an end to the whole saga of this campaign. Remembering that social media is a two way communication & to withstand the sereening by users a lot more preparation is required can be seen as two learning for flipkart from all this (

Fortis Healthcare misjudgment:

As an initiative, Fortis Healthcare decided to celebrate that Breast Feeding Week by asking it users to tweet using #AgarMaKaDudhPiaHaiTo. They were expecting users to tweet witty one liners & later probably reward the best ones. But the online community was not amused because of the use of slang in the hashtag handle. They later gave an excuse that they had lost the control of their twitter account. This an example of not having defined goals for the online campaign.

Volkswagen vibrator ad in news print & related tweet by employee:

In 2012 Volkswagen ran a ad campaign in news paper that showed On the first page, the tagline reading “Feel the shiver of excitement?” and On the second page a light-sensitive box that starts vibrating when page is turned / uncovered. Later on when twitter users pounded on hashtag handle of Volkswagen, an employee tried to give a lame explanation that said “Women would be dumb to call it a vibrator. Or maybe they do not understand real driving experience. #PunIntended #Volkswagen #Creative”


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