Agencies, CultureDecember 15, 2018

Marketing plays a monumental part in any business and is key to its survival. Here’s a look at recent Branding Fails that Made History.

Without advertising and publicising, a business could disappear into irrelevance and be completely forgotten—worse, however, is the damage that can be caused by poor marketing choices.

At best, these choices can be a simple mistake—cause for a quick laugh—which is then swiftly swept under the rug and forgiven. At worst, they are heralded as tone-deaf and leaves one wondering, ‘why did they think this would work?’ and ‘how on earth did this get approved?’

One of the worst in recent years is Pepsi’s advertisement featuring Kendall Jenner of the Kardashian family.

Amid rampant protests featured in the ad, Kendall Jenner appears to triumphantly and heroically put everything to a standstill—with a can of Pepsi.

The ad shows a blatant misunderstanding of protests amid the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, and exploiting a serious real-life issue to promote a brand was met with widespread criticism, to the point that an SNL sketch parodied it.

An apology was issued by PepsiCo, and the ad was removed.

Adweek reported that Edward Boches, Professor of advertising at Boston University and CCO at Mullen Lowe, said: “Ridiculous ad … Shows no awareness of the protesters’ mindset or environment. Feels completely dishonest and contrived.

Was clearly done by people who have not attended a protest or spent time on the streets and have no understanding of the pent-up anger.” According to Brad Jakeman, former President of PepsiCo, the ad “was the most gut-wrenching experience of [his] career.”

The ad went on to be widely regarded as the biggest marketing disaster of 2017.

As Brandwatch reports, there was a 21000%+ increase in mentions, with more than 427,000 mentions of Pepsi on various social media platforms on April 4th alone, and April 5th gaining an additional 1.25 million mentions.

What these and many failed marketing campaigns have in common is their focus on social issues and politics, as well as untimeliness.

While these topics can be handled well, a misstep can cause unintentional backlash and do a company far more harm than good.

When making branding decisions, its best to ask if it’s worth the risk—or if it’ll benefit from a bit of extra research into the topic it attempts to handle.

Agencies, Culture, DesignDecember 12, 2018

Last Rites get a Rise with New UX Experiences

How to revive funeral rites through the creative use of experience design

The most exciting thing about experience design is its potential to improve everyday life. Beyond setting click paths, designing pretty pages, and ensuring flow, the job of an experience designer is to take a step back, look at the world, and figure out how rising digital behavior can better it by enhancing, enabling and easing pre-existing human behaviour.

To illustrate this point at the recent Adobe Creative Jam in Montreal, I talked about Fragment, a start-up project that aims to transform one of the most difficult moments in life: its end.

Reviving funeral rites in 3 crucial stages

1. Involving the community

2. Creating engaged remembrance

3. Assisting in the mourning process

Using UX for lasting, life-changing results.

Culture, UnfilteredDecember 07, 2018

So much of the social engagement right now is not about a sense of community, but more about playing into your tribe, your following.

Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian Says Social Media Has Peaked—Here’s What’s Next

Reddit recently surpassed Facebook to become the third most visited website in the U.S. (Facebook still has larger traffic on a global scale.) But Ohanian suggests that it’s only a matter of time before its weakness starts to show.

“In some way, Reddit is still ahead of the game at this point. But it’s a ubiquitous platform; it’s not designed for specific communities,” he said. “I think we’re going to see this balkanization where more communities move from Facebook Groups or subreddits to entirely new platforms that are getting built.”

If you don’t have a following, you don’t really have a voice…

“What people seem to be clamoring for more and more is community, whether it’s going to private group chats on existing platforms, like WhatsApp groups, or going to new platforms that have emerged,” Ohanian added.

Agencies, CultureNovember 28, 2018

It’s no surprise Facebook isn’t in the top 50 amongst the likes of Instagram and YouTube, the platform lost its relevance for under 30s for many reasons.

In the UK (and most likely the US based on recent news) Facebook has lost it’s appeal to Under 30’s

• A survey of 1,000 under-30s was conducted by youth creative agency ZAK

• It found the social media giant had slumped in popularity among youngsters

• Cambridge Analytica said to have harvested data to sway voters to back Brexit

Facebook has failed to feature in a list of brands popular with under 30s as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube top the list. The news comes in the wake of an investigation into Cambridge Analytica which is said to have plundered Facebook data to sway voters to back Brexit and Donald Trump. The social media giant, which has more than 2.2bn active users worldwide, has slumped in popularity with the under-30s – now not featuring in a list of top 50 brands voted for by youngsters.

A survey of 1,000 under-30s conducted by youth creative agency ZAK found that the top brand was Netflix, followed by Amazon and YouTube. The 50th top brand was Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus, which got a measly 0.4 per cent of the vote – but still trumped Facebook, which wasn’t even listed.

  • 1.Netflix 23.9%
  • 2.Amazon 19.1%
  • 3.YouTube 17.3%
  • 4.Apple 14.1%
  • 5.Google 12.9%
  • 6.Primark 12.5%
  • 7.Instagram 12.4%
  • 8.Nike 9.7%
  • 9.ASOS 9.4%
  • 10.Spotify 8.9%


  • 11.Domino’s 8.2%
  • 12.BBC 7.7%
  • 13.Adidas 7.5%
  • 14.Nando’s 7.3%
  • 15.IKEA 7.2%
  • 16.Lush 6.4%
  • 17.PlayStation 6.3%
  • 18.Superdrug 5.5%
  • 19.Zara 4.7%
  • 20.Starbucks 3.5%


  • 21.Wagamama 3.4%
  • 22.Calvin Klien 3.2%
  • 23.Topshop 3.1%
  • 24.TripAdvisor 3.1%
  • 25.MAC 2.9%
  • 26.BrewDog 2.8%
  • 27.Smirnoff 2.6%
  • 28.JD Sports 2.5%
  • 29.Airbnb 2.1%
  • 30.Nyx cosmetics 2.0%


Matt Bennett, chief creative officer of ZAK, said: ‘It’s no surprise Facebook isn’t in the top 50 amongst the likes of Instagram and YouTube, the platform lost its relevance for under 30s for many reasons.

‘Primarily, they use it to keep up with cross generational groups, family, work colleagues, etc, and after a chequered year and an algorithm change this is increasingly Facebooks own direction to rebuild trust in their platform.

‘So by definition content on there isn’t something under 30s feel is tightly targeted to them.

‘Messenger gets a poor image by association and has too much competition so they’re finding increasingly tough to retain younger users too.

‘Where our groups are hanging out is closed social platforms such as WhatsApp, platforms that are more interest specific such as Twitch and obviously the big two for social media are Instagram and Snapchat who are adding fun and functionality all the time.’

  • 31.Charlotte Tilbury 2.0%
  • 32.Missguided 2.0%
  • 33.Jägermeister 1.9%
  • 34.Strongbow 1.9%
  • 35.Now TV 1.8%
  • 36.Tommy Hilfiger 1.8%
  • 37.New Balance 1.6%
  • 38.GoPro 1.5%
  • 39.Uber 1.5%
  • 40.TUI 1.5%


  • 41.Monster Energy 1.5%
  • 42.Rimmel 1.4%
  • 43.Patagonia 1.3%
  • 44.Gymshark 1.3%
  • 45.Time Out 1.1%
  • 46.Bacardi 1.1%
  • 47.Balenciaga 1.0%
  • 48.Huda Beauty 0.9%
  • 49.Supreme 0.7%
  • 50.OnePlus 0.4%