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6 Crazy Marketing Gimmicks Gone Horribly Wrong - Africaflavourbusiness


Before your company decides to do something crazy, check out the results of these guerrilla marketing campaigns that didn't quite have the intended result

  • Despite the best intentions, some marketing campaigns go horribly wrong and put an uncomfortable spotlight on a company.
  • Guerilla marketing got its roots in 1984 when Jay Conrad Levinson's book Guerilla Marketing was published.
  • When done well, guerilla marketing campaigns can have a huge impact on your business using limited resources.
  • This article is for marketers and business owners interested in exploring guerilla marketing tactics.

While marketing campaigns are designed to drum up publicity, they don't always have the intended outcome.

New York City's Rich Tu quickly learned that lesson after spending 24 hours in jail following a late-night attempt to drum up exposure for his event management app, Pozzle.

It was 2011, and Tu was feeling good after the company hit several milestones. He decided on a local marketing strategy that involved plastering New York City with 1,000 stickers bearing his company's logo.  

"I was feeling pretty invincible, so I thought, 'Let's do something crazy,'" Tu recalled. 

When Tu and Pozzle co-founder Charles Jamerlan had placed more than 500 stickers around the city and were wrapping up their impromptu guerilla marketing campaign around 2 a.m., things took a turn for the worse: They were arrested for vandalism.

Tu spent the next 24 hours in New York City's central booking, sharing a cell with armed robbers, turnstile hoppers and Occupy Wall Street protesters. He was eventually released and ordered to do 21 hours of community service. 

Despite the harrowing experience, Tu said he has no regrets.

"I think it got people interested in my story and helped push the app," he said of his ill-fated sticker campaign. 

Through the years, many other companies have run into problems after launching well-intended marketing campaigns. Here's a look at guerilla marketing tactics and a rundown of a few of the biggest marketing blunders of all time.

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