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Marketing Win/Marketing Fail: Blast from the Past

This week we take a dive into two comparably different campaigns from recent years. One, in many aspects, elicits a range of emotions, and in all fairness, it fills us with pride for mankind. Whereas the other is kind of irk worthy.

Marketing Win: Year in Search

Google really hit “marketing win” on the nose with this one.

In 2009, Google began its Year in Search campaign. It started out with a written description of what was most searched by the population over the span of the last 12 months. This was a success. People were interested. The population wanted to know: was I searching what others were searching?

The following year, 2010, Google decided to up the ante by altering the 12-month synopsis into a three-minute video.

Each subsequent year, Google has released a short video compiling the most common searches over the previous 12 months.

Year in Search for 2017, we see our fellow humans seeking answers for “how wildfires start”, all the way to “how to be fearless”. We see our friends across the world asking “how to calm a dog during a hurricane” and searching for other ways in which they can help victims of mass disasters and tragedies. We see the world wanting to help, wanting to make changes; we see how deeply others care. And with all this, we see that others, near and far, contemplate the same things that we do. We relate to someone thousands of kilometres away.

For the last eight years and counting, Google has managed to unite seven billion people. What more could a company strive for?

Marketing Fail: Music Spam

Now, let’s turn our attention to something a little bit different.

It comes as no surprise, a vast majority of smartphone users are dedicated to iPhones. Apple, iPhone’s producer, is almost perceived as some big club. They constantly have the next best thing. Apple products are continually updating, upgrading, and improving. We see enhancements on our devices continuously, often occurring with minimal effort required from its user.

Ultimately, Apple is doing incredibly well in the market. There’s no mistaking that.

However, if you are an Apple iTunes user, you may remember looking at your music library back in September 2014 and seeing that a U2 album had just randomly appeared. Okay…great? How do I get rid of this?

Apple decided that with the big release of their iPhone 6, in September 2014, they were going to ever so kindly grant all iTunes users with U2’s new album for free! And the best part…They weren’t even going to ask if iTunes users wanted the album. You got it either way.

The overall consensus was that iTunes users were annoyed. They hadn’t been given the choice to download the album, yet here it was. Apple had misjudged its relationship with its users. They had pushed the boundaries, and now their customers felt violated.

The entire backlash of the iPhone 6 release accompanied with a *free* U2 album led to Apple having to create a webpage specifically formed to walk iTunes users through the process of how to delete the unwarranted album.

If the overall endeavour was to excite and engage iTunes users, then evidently the whole ordeal was a drastic failure.

advertising, brands, marketing, marketing win/marketing fail