The 5 big brands bitten by online retail and marketing mistakes

Warner Bros

Comic-Con, the world’s biggest convention for all things comics, superhero and sci-fi, took place on 9-12 July 2015 and brought with it a string of new trailer releases.

Some of the films to have been previewed include Batman vs Superman, Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse and Fantastic Four.

Now, Warner Bros swiftly released the official trailer to Batman vs Superman, but for some bizarre reason decided to hold back on the teaser for its sister Suicide Squad film.

Naturally, the rise of smartphones meant that numerous Comic-Con guests had stealthily captured the trailer. It’s long been in high demand as it offers a look first official look at Jared Leto who plays Batman adversary The Joker in the film – the first person to portray the villain since the tragic death of Heath Ledger who played him previously.

Rather embarrassingly, the online circulation of the illegal versions of the trailer couldn’t be stopped by Warner Bros as too many had been released and it meant that the studio was forced to admit defeat with a statement on Facebook – which coincided with an official trailer release.

“Warner Bros. Pictures and our anti-piracy team have worked tirelessly over the last 48 hours to contain the Suicide Squad footage that was pirated from Hall H on Saturday. We have been unable to achieve that goal. Today we will release the same footage that has been illegally circulating on the web, in the form it was created and high quality with which it was intended to be enjoyed,” said Sue Kroll, president worldwide marketing and international distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

“We regret this decision as it was our intention to keep the footage as a unique experience for the Comic Con crowd, but we cannot continue to allow the film to be represented by the poor quality of the pirated footage stolen from our presentation.”

The aggravation could have been avoided by placing the trailer on YouTube from the start, as well as generating some juicy advertising revenue from avid fans.

Burger King

Hacking and security are often ignored by businesses, until it’s too late.

Remember that time McDonald’s bought Burger King? No? That’s because it didn’t actually happen – at least, not officially, although a Twitter account hack would have had you believing otherwise.

It happened abruptly back in February 2013 and suspicion was aroused when a tweet that said “We just got sold to McDonald’s! Look for McDonald’s in a hood near you” was posted by the hackers.

Not only was the Burger King display picture changed to a McDonald’s logo, the background was amended to a picture of Fish McBites. McDonald’s offered its condolences and denied any responsibility, probably while guzzling a very happy Happy Meal indeed.

It wasn’t just a few silly tweets that were posted, a number of derogatory remarks were also made.

Interestingly though, while the fast food chain started the day with 82,000 followers, it had secured over 30,000 newcomers during the hour-long online hijacking.

A spokesperson, said: “It has come to our attention that the Twitter account of the Burger King brand has been hacked. We have worked directly with administrators to suspend the account until we are able to re-establish our legitimate site and authentic postings.

“We apologise to our fans and followers who have been receiving erroneous tweets about other members of our industry and additional inappropriate topics.”

Having not learnt its lesson, the retailer launched an online PR campaign later that year in October to convince customers that it had changed its name to Fries King, which was met with nothing more than mass confusion.

It was done in a bid to promote its new selection of crinkled chips, but not everyone was impressed. One consumer said: “Burger King or Fries King. Doesn’t matter I had food poisoning from them twice and have not eaten there for the last 13 years”. Another got straight to the point and said “your fries are trash”.

Krispy Kreme

When it comes to Krispy Kreme, the brand has the power to awaken even the healthiest of consumers’ inner Homer Simpson by creating that feeling of “mmm… doughnuts”.

With such sweet omnipotence, the brand has a loyal social media following of more than five million across channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vine.

But it was Facebook that got the doughnut seller into a sticky situation with its Krispy Kreme Klub promotion at its Hull branch, otherwise referred to as “KKK Wednesday”.

The invite was sent to more than 215,000 Brits and eagle-eyed customers were quick to spoke the event’s acronym was shared with the racial hatred group Ku Klux Klan.

“This was sent from head office so it has been advertised at all the outlets. But we have now taken down the sign from our point of sale. We don’t have a new name for the event yet but it is still going ahead,” a spokeswoman said.

Elsewhere, the Twitter account manager was inundated with tweets and force to apologise repeatedly for any upset caused.

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