15 Big Companies That Made The Biggest Marketing Blunders in History

Have you ever seen a commercial so cringe-worthy that it makes you laugh out loud? It turns out that this kind of marketing failure is more than just a small brand problem; even the most established companies can make epic mistakes. These blunders can go viral overnight, turning brand loyalty into public mockery.

Pepsi (2017)

Pepsi’s attempt to capitalize on social justice movements with a commercial featuring Kendall Jenner diffusing tension at a protest with a can of Pepsi sparked outrage. The internet spiraled into a frenzy of public outcry and viral memes while critics slammed it as tone-deaf and disrespectful. Pepsi quickly pulled the ad and issued an apology.

New Coke (1985)

Coca-Cola, the king of colas, made a disastrous decision by replacing its original formula with a “New Coke.” Consumers revolted, with many claiming the new version tasted inferior. The backlash was so intense that Coca-Cola was forced to bring back the original recipe just 79 days later.

Dove: Body Wash and the Racist Shower (2017)

Dove’s attempt to promote inclusivity backfired spectacularly with an ad showing a black woman washing away into a white woman. The commercial was widely condemned for perpetuating racist stereotypes.

McDonald’s Fillet-O-Fish Mishap (1995)

In a bizarre marketing campaign, McDonald’s launched a website for their Filet-O-Fish sandwich featuring a creepy, singing fish mascot. The internet, still in its early days, mercilessly mocked the ad, solidifying its place in marketing infamy.

Ford Figo: The Offensive Indian Name (2010)

Ford tried to enter the Indian market with a car named Figo, but it faced an embarrassing hurdle. Figo is a slang term in some parts of India for a derogatory term about women’s figures. Ford was forced to quickly rebrand the car as Figo Aspire.

Gap’s Logo Revamp (2010)

Gap tried to modernize its logo, which resulted in a confusing, barely-there blue square design. Customers hated it, with many comparing it to a sad face or a medical symbol. Gap wisely reverted to its original logo a short time later.

BlackBerry’s Tweet from an iPhone (2012)

BlackBerry, a struggling smartphone brand at the time, accidentally tweeted an announcement for a new phone from an iPhone. This blunder highlighted the company’s growing disconnect from the market and its inability to keep pace with competitors.

Hertz Neverending Car Rental Nightmare (2021)

Hertz’s social media team took a lighthearted approach to their bankruptcy filing, tweeting, “Rent a car, own a problem.” Customers who were stuck in lengthy car return lines due to the bankruptcy weren’t amused, and the tweet quickly backfired.

Goodyear’s Support for Trump Rallies (2020)

Goodyear, a tire company, found itself in hot water when it was revealed they wouldn’t allow employees to wear Black Lives Matter or pro-Trump attire at work. However, some employees claimed the company did allow pro-Trump messages. This inconsistency caused confusion and anger, leading to boycotts of the brand.

Netflix’s “Instant Queue” Removal (2010)

Netflix angered its subscriber base by announcing the removal of its popular “Instant Queue” feature, which allowed users to create a list of movies and shows they wanted to watch. The backlash forced Netflix to backtrack and reinstate the feature.

Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Pass Fiasco (2017)

Olive Garden’s attempt to boost sales with a limited-time “Never Ending Pasta Pass” backfired spectacularly. Restaurants were overwhelmed by demand, leading to long wait times, frustrated customers, and, ultimately, a loss of revenue for the company.

Mattel’s Barbie “Can She Be a Computer Engineer?” (1998)

Mattel’s Barbie doll line has faced criticism for perpetuating gender stereotypes. One such example was the 1998 Barbie labeled “Can She Be a Computer Engineer?” which critics pointed out was unnecessary, implying that being a computer engineer was unusual for a woman.

Peloton’s Christmas Ad and Social Media Outrage (2019)

Peloton’s holiday ad campaign featured a woman receiving a Peloton exercise bike as a gift from her husband. Many viewers found the ad sexist and unrealistic, sparking a social media firestorm and damaging the brand’s image.

United Breaks Guitars (2017)

Passenger David Dao’s forcible removal from a United Airlines flight became a viral sensation after a video showed him being dragged off the plane. United’s initial response, blaming the passenger, only fueled public outrage, damaging the airline’s reputation for customer service.

Colgate’s “Sensitive Teeth in China” Campaign (2018)

Colgate’s attempt to market its sensitive toothpaste in China backfired when its ad campaign featured a scene with a Chinese man wincing while eating a bowl of ice cream. The ad was criticized for perpetuating negative stereotypes about Chinese people’s dental health.

10 Obsolete Jobs That Will Make You Nostalgic and Sad

The world of work is a fascinating time capsule, reflecting the ever-evolving relationship between humans and technology. Jobs that were once considered the backbone of society can vanish in the blink of a historical eye, replaced by automation, economic shifts, or cultural changes. While these advancements often lead to progress and efficiency, they also leave behind a sense of nostalgia for simpler times and a reminder of the irreplaceable human element in certain tasks.

Travel Agent (Pre-Internet Boom)

These travel specialists once meticulously planned itineraries, booked flights and hotels, and offered personalized recommendations. The rise of online travel agencies and booking platforms in the late 20th century significantly reduced the demand for their services.

Film Developer (Pre-Digital Photography)

From capturing memories to professional photography, film developers are skilled technicians who can process film into photographs. However, the widespread adoption of digital cameras in the early 2000s rendered film photography and its supporting jobs obsolete.

Switchboard Operator (Pre-1960s)

Before automated systems and direct dialing, these human “information highways” connected callers by physically plugging jacks into specific lines. With the rise of electronic switching in the 1960s, this labor-intensive role became obsolete.

Elevator Operator (Pre-1970s)

These courteous individuals once controlled the ascent and descent of elevators, ensuring passenger safety and providing a personalized touch. Automatic elevators, driven by technological advancements, phased out this role by the 1970s.

Milkman (Pre-1980s)

A familiar sight in neighborhoods for decades, the milkman delivered fresh dairy products straight to customers’ doorsteps. The rise of supermarkets with refrigerated sections and changing consumer habits led to the decline of home milk delivery by the 1980s.

Town Crier (Pre-Mass Media)

In a time before newspapers and radio broadcasts, town criers disseminated news and announcements by word of mouth, often ringing a bell to gather attention. The development of mass media in the 19th and 20th centuries made this role a thing of the past. (Source: English Heritage [invalid URL removed])

Tollbooth Collector (Rise of Electronic Tolling)

Tollbooth collectors were responsible for collecting fees from motorists on highways and bridges. The implementation of electronic toll collection systems, utilizing transponders and automated scanners, has significantly reduced the need for these positions.

Typesetter (Pre-Desktop Publishing)

These skilled professionals can meticulously arrange and set type for printing presses. The invention of desktop publishing software in the 1980s revolutionized the printing industry, making typesetting a relic of the past.

Video Rental Store Clerk (Rise of Streaming Services)

Once a popular weekend destination, video rental stores offered a curated selection of movies for rent. The rise of streaming services and on-demand video content in the 21st century has rendered these stores largely obsolete.

Factory Assembly Line Worker (Automation and Globalization)

Once plentiful manufacturing jobs have been impacted by automation and globalization. Robots and computer-controlled machines have replaced many assembly line workers, while production has shifted to countries with lower labor costs.

Ice Cutter (Pre-1900s)

Imagine a world before refrigerators! Ice cutters harvested massive blocks of ice from frozen lakes and rivers during the winter, storing them in ice houses to provide cooling throughout the warmer months. The invention of mechanical refrigeration in the late 19th century rendered this backbreaking labor obsolete.

Pinsetter (Pre-Automatic Bowling Machines)

Bowling alleys were once a lively scene with human pinsetters resetting pins after each frame. This physically demanding job required agility and coordination to reset pins for enthusiastic bowlers efficiently. Automatic pinsetting machines, introduced in the mid-20th century, revolutionized the sport and eliminated the need for human pinsetters.

Telephone Operator (Pre-Automatic Switching)

Before the convenience of direct dialing, telephone operators played a crucial role in connecting callers. Using switchboards with blinking lights and complex wiring, they manually established connections, often becoming familiar voices to frequent callers. Automatic switching technology phased out this role by the mid-20th century.

Cobblestone Layer (Pre-Asphalt and Concrete)

Cobblestone streets were once a common sight in cities around the world. Skilled cobblestone layers meticulously hand-laid these stones to create durable and attractive roadways. The invention of asphalt and concrete in the late 19th and early 20th centuries offered a faster and more cost-effective alternative, leading to the decline of cobblestone laying as a profession.

15 Passive Income Strategies and Ideas for People Over 50

Creating a passive income stream after 50 is like unlocking a new level of financial freedom and security for your golden years. It’s a strategy that lets you harness the power of your investments and creativity to build wealth without the daily grind. Passive income can be a game-changer if you’re looking to bolster your retirement savings or find new ways to make your money work for you. Here are the top ideas and strategies for creating a passive income stream after 50.

Dividend Stocks and ETFs

Investing in dividend stocks or ETFs is like planting a money tree that grows over time. These options are great because they pay you regularly, just like getting a paycheck, but without the work. Plus, they’re less risky, thanks to diversification. It’s like having your cake and eating it, too, especially if you’re not keen on playing the stock market game daily. Just set it up, watch it grow, and enjoy the fruits of smart investing.

Bonds and Bond Index Funds

Consider bonds as the slow and steady turtles in the race; they don’t offer quick wins but promise consistent gains over time. By putting money into bond index funds, you’re lending cash at a steady interest rate, perfect for those who prefer peace of mind over high stakes. They’re especially handy as you get closer to retirement, providing a predictable income stream. It’s a safe harbor in the stormy seas of investment options, ideal for anchoring your financial future.

High-Yield Savings Accounts

A high-yield savings account is like an upgraded version of your traditional savings account, offering more bang for your buck. It’s perfect for stashing away an emergency fund or saving for short-term goals because you earn more interest without extra risk. Think of it as a beefed-up savings account that works harder for you. It’s a no-brainer for anyone looking to get more from their savings with minimal effort.

Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

CDs are the equivalent of locking away a portion of your money in a vault that pays you to keep it there. They offer fixed interest rates for a set period, making them a safer bet than playing the market. It’s like giving your future self a gift of guaranteed money. While your cash is tied up for a bit, the higher interest rates make the wait worthwhile. CDs are perfect for the patient investor looking for a worry-free return.

Rental Properties

Diving into real estate might sound daunting, but having a golden goose that lays eggs regularly is like having a golden goose. You can go the traditional route of buying property to rent or use platforms like Fundrise for a hands-off approach with REITs. It requires some upfront investment but can pay off handsomely with the right property and management. Think of it as building your own mini-empire where your properties work for you, bringing in a steady income stream.

Peer-to-Peer Lending

Imagine lending money to a friend on a larger scale and with interest. Platforms like Prosper and Lending Club let you do just that, earning you a tidy sum. It’s a modern take on the age-old lending practice, offering returns that often beat traditional savings vehicles. This approach is great for spreading your wings into the lending world with a safety net. Plus, you’re helping others while boosting your own income.

Starting a Blog or YouTube Channel

If you’ve got a passion or expertise to share, why not make it work for you? Starting a blog or YouTube channel can turn your hobbies into a revenue stream through ads and sponsorships. It’s like throwing a fishing line into the vast ocean of the internet; with patience and persistence, you’ll catch something. The key is providing value that keeps people coming back. Over time, your platform can become a self-sustaining source of income.

E-Books and Online Courses

Writing an e-book or creating an online course lets you package your knowledge into a product that sells while you sleep. It’s leveraging what you know and love into a format others can learn from and enjoy. With platforms like Amazon, getting your work out there is easier than ever. Think of it as planting a garden of knowledge seeds that grow into income trees. The more you create, the more potential income you can generate.

Selling Stock Photos or Music

Your artwork or tunes can become a passive income source for the creatives out there. Sites like Shutterstock for photos or Bandcamp for music make it easy to sell your creations. It’s about turning your passion projects into profitable pieces. Every download or license becomes a drop in your income bucket, filling it over time. It’s a gratifying way to earn from doing what you love.

Design Custom Products

Designing custom products and selling them through print-on-demand services can be a game-changer if you’re artistic. It’s like having your own boutique without the hassle of inventory or shipping. You design, they buy, and someone else handles the rest. It’s a creative’s dream to earn income with freedom and flexibility. Plus, every sale adds to your passive income pot.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is all about sharing and getting paid for products you love. If you have a blog, social media following, or website, it’s a smart way to earn by recommending things you already use and love. Just link to products and collect a fee whenever someone buys through your link. It’s like being the middleman without the hassle, connecting your audience with products that can genuinely benefit them. The best part? The potential for earnings grows with your audience, making it a scalable option for passive income.

Renting Out Your Space

Have you got a spare room, garage, or even just a parking spot? Platforms like Airbnb or Neighbor make it easy to turn these underused spaces into cash. It’s like having a mini-hotel or storage business without a big investment. People are always looking for a cozy room or a bit of extra space, and you could be the one to offer it. Plus, it’s flexible, allowing you to earn money when you choose.

Crowdfunded Real Estate and REITs

Crowdfunded real estate platforms and REITs offer a foot in the door for those intrigued by real estate but put off by the high entry costs. Think of it as joining a club where everyone pitches in to buy property, and then you all share the profits. It’s a less hands-on approach to real estate investment, perfect for those who want the gains without the landlord pains. Plus, it spreads the risk, making it a safer bet for your hard-earned cash.