There have been many, many, many PR disasters through the years caused by a terrible marketing campaign. From the Lisa Simpson 2012 Olympics logo, to Jaegermeister's poisoned pool.
But at the moment, the one on everyone's minds is the dramatically bad marketing campaign failure of Pride in London.
London Pride is the LGBTQI's largest Pride event int he UK (largest only in that London is the largest city). The event is a celebration and a way of looking back at the community's progress made, and looking forward at the further progress needed.
As such, the marketing for the event should have been an easy job. People want to celebrate good things - especially after the terrible past few months. So whoever did the marketing and PR should've drafted some eye-catching creative that captured the themes and subtext of the event. They should've been able to use the vast culture of the LGBTIQ community to really draw on some key themes and throwback poignantly. Instead, they shifted the focus away from the LGBTIQ community and onto the straight community.
While the campaign likely won't stop people attending the event - it will definitely leave a sour taste. After all, Pride is a day for the LGBTQI community, yet the marketing materials completely overlook them. In fact, no. They revert them rob being the accessory of the event.
Obviously, the idea was to show Pride from a different point of view - probably to make it seem more mainstream and really focus in on the societal acceptance. Instead, the narrative shifted onto those who Pride isn't really about. By creating a campaign for non-users, the marketer is basically subjugating the existing clientele by opening up the event to those they would rather be there. The idea, somewhere along the way, was probably touching. Acceptance. But, as usual with marketing campaigns, the message was lost in the delivery.
By appealing to straight people, the campaign serves to alienate those it should have been trying to bolster. Perhaps the campaign can be evidence for the next time someone wonders 'do we still need a gay Pride?'
Get in touch if you want some GOOD ideas for marketing campaigns, that will reach the appropriate clientele!