YouTube is the perfect platform to talk about your business. It’s the second biggest search engine. And with a registered audience of 1.8 billion watching 5 billion videos daily, this is the place to be to get noticed. Video content is also set to account for 80% of global internet traffic by 2020. So, jumping on the video marketing bandwagon now is a great way to stay in the limelight.
But, with many brands slipping up on social media, it’s time to look at what went wrong and avoid some of the biggest social media fails. After all, you don’t just want to become another negative statistic. In this episode we’re looking at YouTube and the brands who failed hard.
Heineken’s ‘Lighter is Better’ Campaign
When Heineken launched their ‘Lighter is Better’ campaign last year, the Dutch brand found themselves at the centre of a major social media backlash. The problem, said viewers of the TV and YouTube promotional videos, was that the ad was racist. Why? Let’s break it down.
The short clip showed a bartender slide a low-calorie, reduced alcohol beer past three black women to the hand of a lighter skinned woman with the tagline reading “sometimes lighter is better.”
What the people said:
- The advert was racist!
2. The ad was controversial to get more views
What the brand said:
“While we feel the ad is referencing our Heineken Light beer, we missed the mark, are taking the feedback to heart and will use this to influence future campaigns.” The ad was quickly pulled from multiple channels.
Lessons and takeaways:
· Plan all campaigns carefully. Ask for feedback. Take constructive criticism from multiple audiences as this will help you to avoid racist, sexist or derogatory marketing.
Don’t be offensive. Avoid controversy as fixing a PR disaster can be timely and costly.
Respond to public sentiment. If you make a genuine mistake, take note of reactions.
Contact Contentworks for a Socially Sorted content marketing strategy.
YouTube’s 2018 Rewind Disaster
Somehow, YouTube managed to make the most disliked YouTube video of all time on its own channel. Ironic isn’t it? Their annual Rewind video was such as disaster that it had 10 million dislikes and only 2 million likes by 13 December 2018. While the video featured stars such as Will Smith promoting Fortnight and trends like Baby Shark, it seemed to totally edge out the creators which make the platform a hit. And this didn’t go unnoticed.
With over 80-million subscribers, Pewdiepie is one of the world’s top YouTube influencers despite ruffling feathers during his career. He was nowhere to be seen on the video, however, not because he “said no” but because he “wasn’t asked”. His response? To rant about it on YouTube, of course, in a video that was viewed over 27 million times.
One of the main issues, people felt, was that the channel hadn’t rectified previous Rewind video mistakes. YouTube has been criticised in the past for being disconnected from viewers and creators but seemed to continue down the same line of marketing for 2018’s flashback.
Lessons and takeaways:
Know and acknowledge your target audience; those than make your brand a success. In this case, paying tribute to celebs over creators backfired dramatically.
Listen to past feedback and make changes. Come back stronger after a failed or unsuccessful marketing attempt.
Avoid being disingenuous. The Rewind video celebrates those who talked about mental health honouring their courage! This all sounds really great, right? But in the words of Pewdiepie: “You were PAID! You were PAID to talk about mental health. It takes a lot of bravery, and money, to be that vulnerable.” Paid marketing can indeed seem over-the-top and cringe-worthy if not implemented correctly.
Dove: Beauty Comes in all Shapes and Sizes Fail
In an attempt to reaffirm their commitment to beauty confidence, Dove released 6 different bottles designed to celebrate bodies of all shapes and sizes. YouTube videos with slogan such as “real beauty breaks moulds” might have seemed harmless enough, but the social backlash was fierce. Women reminded the brand that they don’t always want to be categorised.
London-based brand strategist Sarah Benson said: “This is a naval-gazing marketing exercise that patronizes women rather than celebrates them. The shapes invite shoppers to judge themselves against what others look like, which surely increases the sense of feeling different rather than acceptance.”
Lessons and takeaways
Stay true to your brand. In the case of Dove, if you’re celebrating diversity, don’t force women into categories. This line of marketing goes against your true USPs.
Gain an idea of market opinion before going live. Surveys, polls, questionnaires and such like can all help your brand continue in the right direction.
It can be easy to slip up on social media. One poorly thought out campaign can create a storm of negative press. Want to avoid mishaps? Get Socially Sorted with Contentworks.