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What NOT to do


It’s always good to learn from your mistakes. But it can be even better – and certainly far more entertaining – to learn from the mistakes of others. Which is definitely the case with these entertaining examples of content marketing gone wrong. So sit back, cringe, and thank the marketing gods that it wasn’t you who made the call.

The tweet-slip

Leaving a less-than-enthusiastic staffer in control of your Twitter account can have some pretty embarrassing ramifications, as many of us are aware. Possibly the ‘best’ slip-up, however, came from the official Chrysler account, because it was just so damn topical.

In itself, the slip-up wasn’t too much of a disaster – after all, with platforms like Tweetdeck it can get confusing trying to run multiple accounts, and in general the public is pretty forgiving as long as the company in question ’fesses up. What happened, however, is that Chrysler released a tweet insinuating it had been hacked, rather than admitting its entry-level agency staffer had made the gaff.

Here’s a tip: if you’re going to try and cover something up, don’t sack the guy whose silence is integral to said cover-up.

The McDonald’s hashtag fiasco

Like many big companies, McDonald’s wanted to start a conversation with its customers. Unfortunately, it chose to focus on a ‘quality ingredients’ standpoint, something that – inevitably – drew plenty of ire from many a witty tweeter.

The hashtag (originally #MeetTheFarmers, but which McDonald’s marketers changed to #McDstories) soon became a channel for people all over the world to voice their disapproval of fast food. Here are just a few examples:

Qantas’ freefall

And coming in at number one is last year’s Qantas Twitter fiasco. After grounding the entire fleet and forcing the government to act against the industrial action that was taking place, Qantas self-appointed role as ‘Australia’s airline’ was called into question by disgruntled customers as its reputation fell faster than its share price is doing at the minute.

And what do you do when you need to get back into the good books of a bitter public? Why, give away a free pair of pyjamas of course!

Qantas began a Twitter competition offering 50 pairs of First Class amenities kits, complete with Qantas pyjamas, to the best tweets describing your ‘dream luxury in-flight experience’. Here’s a selection of some of our favourite responses…

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