4 Christmas Marketing Mis-haps

By Laurie Wood

Share on: 

Whether you’ve forgotten to buy gravy, left your Xmas shopping until Xmas eve when the shops are rammed or in this case, made a marketing blooper, know-one it seems is safe from the traditional Christmas muck-up! It happens, but sometimes you can’t help but face-palm these brands.

We all know Oprah, (y’know, the lady who gave away all the cars?), well back in 2012, Oprah was promoting her #favoritethings at Christmas, one of which was the Microsoft Surface (a fancy laptop). So eager to spread the joy, she tweeted, “Gotta say love that SURFACE! Have bought 12 already as Christmas gifts #favoritethings”. Was she endorsed for Surface? Know-one is sure, but what we all know is she tweeted this using an Apple Ipad… Guess she wasn’t a big a fan as we thought…


In 2011, one of the most recognisable and iconic brands on the planet, Coca-Cola decided to change their signature red branding on cans to white in order to raise awareness and money for the Polar Bear charities. The thought was there, however, this approach didn’t go down too well with consumers. Many complained that the packaging looked too similar to Diet Coke which led to consumers buying the wrong product. It was pulled after 2 months.


It’s safe to say, brands like to push the boundaries of marketing in order to generate an impact and WKD did not shy away in their 2012 poster, which suggested spending your money on their beverage rather than an orphan pup. The poster led to an outpour of outrage with people calling it sick and disgusting. Initially WKD responded to the complaints blaming it on their wicked side, however, they eventually understood that poking fun at animals is no way to sell alcohol. Who even comes up with that?


Bloomingdales is a well-known, luxury American department store. In 2015 they made headlines when one of their Christmas catalogues featured an image with suggestively date-rapey text. The advert featuring a woman looking away and a man peering over said, “Spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking”. Can’t get more festive than that, right? Bloomingdales had to apologise for obvious reasons and then stew in the backlash since their product was a post to door catalogue and almost impossible to recall!


Well, there’s just one thing I can say about these…

Merry Christmas! 

Want to know more about how you can utilise social media as a seller tool? Follow me here for daily updates: LauriewoodUKSocialLite @TMPworldwideUK.


About the company

At Social Hire, we don't just do social.

What the Social Hire gang loves is making a difference for our clients, and we don't want to waste your, or our resources on marketing for marketing's sake, if it doesn't get your organisation the impression you need - we take a different approach.

Our group of specialists are an organisation that helps our clients boost their online marketing by offering social media management services on a monthly basis.

You might like these blog posts How to Use Offline Media to Drive Social Media Engagement, How can technology improve customer experience and satisfaction?, Starting Social Media Conversations: 3 Things You Must Do First!, and 9 Ways to increase conversions using social media.

  Back to Small Business blogs