4 Atrocious Examples of Deliberately Bad Marketing

Finding the right tone of voice for a brand can be a minefield. In recent years there has been a trend towards a more informal, self-aware and even sarcastic approach. But while this reflects a trend towards more relaxed presentation and communication in wider society, it can sometimes be as goofy as a teacher trying too hard to be “down with the kids”.

It’s a tough balance to strike, and the brands below have demonstrated just how fine the line is between frankly refreshing sound and squealing force. Perhaps they could learn from the best brand books.

01. Oatly’s irritating Reddit ad

The beginning of Oatly’s Reddit Announcement (opens in a new tab) (Image credit: Future owns)

“Your ad campaigns are always the cringest and most pathetic faux-cool b*llsh*t. I am actively hostile to your brand.” Ouch, I don’t think that’s the kind of response Oatly was hoping for when he released a announcement on Reddit. The brand was already pissing people off with its “corporate irreverence,” but this facetious post, in which it claimed to have discovered email marketing, has ruffled a lot of people the wrong way.

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