People get fired for saying stupid things on social media all the time. And while you can't fire a corporation, they also seem to make some serious social media blunders - and this year is no exception.
Social media gaffes aren’t uncommon, but when you’re a giant company like Wendy’s or Uber, then you should know that people are watching your every move and hoping that you’ll trip up. When you combine that and dumb marketing decisions hoping to capitalize on a cultural zeitgeist, you have a recipe for 2017 corporate fails. The corporations with the worst social media in 2017 are those who swing for the fences with big stunts, with the hopes of appealing to people’s sense of either political correctness, or idealism, and end up seeming tone deaf rather than #woke. Try not to tweet anything offensive while you read about these corporate social media fails of 2017.
From viral videos of assaults and bad bottle designs, to an unfortunate email subject line, these are just a few of the corporate social media mistakes 2017 has had to offer. Keep reading to find out about the corporate fails 2017 brought to the world stage. Then check out the social media fails of 2019.
- 1Video: YouTube
Woof. United Airlines has spent more of 2017 trying to keep itself from drowning in PR meltdowns than putting planes in the air. First they denied to teenage girls from flying the unfriendly skies because they were wearing leggings, then they doubled down on creating social media disasters when they dragged an Asian-American man off a plane in order to give his seat to a crew member. Obviously people on board the flight filmed the whole thing and posted the very graphic video on YouTube and Facebook, and the clip went garnered millions of views.
They have since killed a bunny, and United shows no signs of slowing down with their suicidal PR choices. Twitter had a great time with the consistent meltdown, and aside from the fact animals were dying, people were being beaten on planes, and teen girls were being body shamed, people were really nailing some jokes.13231Are you cringing?
Dove Evokes Vintage Racism
On October 6, Dove posted a quick video showing a Black woman removing her brown shirt and transforming into a white woman. The ad evoked the incredibly racist soap ads of the past, in which dark skin was portrayed as dirty, and social media quickly spread the offensive ad around.
In response, Dove issued a statement saying they "missed the mark."11730Are you cringing?
Dove Gives Women An All New Set Of Body IssuesPhoto: Unilever / via The Today Show
Proving that each day in 2017 offers a brand new way for corporations to make themselves look like ding-dongs, Dove rolled out an ad campaign created by Ogilvy London known as “Real Beauty Bottles.” This limited-edition run of six different body wash bottles was supposed to show the power of the diversity of a woman's body by providing curvy, petite, and hilariously pear shaped containers. A statement from the company reads: "They’re one of a kind–just like you. But sometimes we all need reminding of that. Recent research from the Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report revealed that one in two women feels social media puts pressure on them to look a certain way. Thankfully, many women are fighting with us to spread beauty confidence.” It's exactly the kind of thing that sounds like a great idea but is hilariously misguided the moment you see it.
How was this decision made? Are women supposed to actually choose the bottle that most closely aligns with their body types (of which there are only seven - and don't you forget it)? Or is it okay if a women shaped like a torpedo purchases a bottle of body wash that's more rhombus shaped? The one thing that Dove's PR gaff actually manage to do was restart peak Twitter.13743Are you cringing?
- Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
Have you ever sent out an email you wish you could immediately take back? Adidas did that on a large scale following the Boston Maraton in April 2017, when they sent an email with the subject line: "Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon." This follows the horrific bombing of the Boston Marathon in 2013 that killed three people and injured 260 bystanders. After the email was sent ,The Boston Globe reported that two survivors of the bombing - Patrick Downes and Marc Fucarile - ran in the race.
As you can probably guess, the athletic company was roasted on Twitter, and they apologized with a heartfelt tweet.
Adidas sent out a Tweet saying, “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon.” Even United wouldn’t drag out something that stupid.— Alex Kaseberg (@AlexKaseberg) April 18, 20179930Are you cringing?