Some examples of failed social media campaigns in India.

Social media campaigns can easily backfire if they cannot sustain screening from users. The marketers and online engagement teams within firms must be very careful in what they write or post while engaging with users online and also how they intend to engage the users. If there’s even a very small chance of the user feeling cheated or offended with the content of a post, it is better to not go ahead with it since you never know how strongly it may backfire on you. Below are some examples of Social media campaigns from India that have failed:

  1. Microsoft India XBOX: Although, the ad shown below could appeal to some users, saying you will have no interest in the Xbox 360 isn’t the smartest message they could put out. Need to be more careful with the content                                                                                                                                       .xbox-360-india-fail microsoft
  1. Flipkart Big Billion Day: Flipkart’s credibility was murdered on Social media forums when it’s Big Billion day execution could not live up to the expectations it had set through its online as well as offline campaign. The company was criticized heavily across various social media platforms for broken website, discounts on inflated prices and poor delivery. In run-up to the sale day, Flipkart had run aggressive social media campaign and the consumers felt cheated when it could not live-upto the hype it had created. The campaign was also dubbed as a publicity stunt at the cost of the consumer.
  2. Ford Figo India: Ford came under heavy criticism and issued a subsequent apology over an advertising campaign which depicts celebrities bound, gagged and stuffed into the boot of an Indian-made Ford Figo. The drawings attempt to exploit the Figo’s spacious cargo area with the punch line: ‘Leave your worries behind with the Figo’s extra-large boot’. One drawing features Paris Hilton with reality television counterparts Khloe, Kourtney and Kim Kardashian, who are tied up and bound while they squeeze into the back of the car. In a second drawing, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi poses with three scantily clad women who are similarly bound and tied.                                                                                    offensive-ford-ad-1_1024-620x349 offensive-ford-ad-2_729-620x349
  1. Politician Lal Krishna Advani: Senior politician Lal Krishna Advani’s social media campaign irritated the users to say the least. As one blogger put it:

“We saw Advani becoming Ad -Vani with his aggressive adwords campaign targeting every Indian site. At one point there were only his ads on every site we browsed.  The first and foremost reason it failed – We hate Ads.”

The campaign was an attempt to bring in the conventional in-your-face advertising on social media.

  1. MTV India: Putting-up erroneous content in your customer-engagement posts can be embarrassing for you – the users will make sure you feel embarrassed. MTV India wished John Lennon a happy birthday and a joyous year ahead!!!                                                                                                                            MTV-india-john-lennon
  1. Star Sports India: Using the official engagement accounts – twitter, facebook etc and ensuring that only responsible folks have access to it is of utmost importance as Start Sports India found out when an offensive tweet (a hindi abusive word) in Nov 2013 was retweeted 104 times in a very short period of time before it was deleted. Even after deleting such posts/tweets, they continue to remain on the internet for ever and keep denting your brand image.
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