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8 big influencer marketing fails

Written by: Kelly Atkin / 28 May 2019

Working with influencers has advantages, they can help make an advertising campaign feel more realistic, and open your brand up to a new audience. But what happen when the campaign goes wrong? Here are eight of the biggest influencer marketing fails:

 

1. Pepsi working with Kendall Jenner

It doesn’t seem particularly unusual for a big brand like Pepsi to collaborate with a large influencer like Kendall Jenner. Influencers can enhance marketing campaigns and make them feel less like an ad – in this case that was one of the worst parts of this campaign.

Following a period of brands taking a stand and jumping on the social movement bandwagon, Pepsi designed a campaign with a reference to the Black Lives Matter protests.

Although, overall the campaign was extremely badly thought out, the inclusion of Kendall, a white supermodel, did not fit with the theme of the protests.

Kendall ended up looking foolish, and Pepsi just looked insensitive.

Pepsi Kendall Jenner

Picture source: Washington Post

 

2. Rodan + Fields working with Ramona Singer

When working with lots of brands on difference campaigns and using agencies to run them all, it can be easy for influencers to slip up when posting their caption. We’ve got a few more examples in this list, but firstly The Real Housewives of New York City star, Ramona Singer is left looking silly after leaving the brand’s directions in her caption.

Picture source: Instagram

 

3. E.A working with Benjamin Burnley

This is a real case for finding the right influencers. If they don’t have a connection with your brand then they are going to struggle to put any passion into their content. Especially if they don’t actually like your product!

In this example, video game company Electronic Arts messaged Benjamin Burnley, front-man of Breaking Benjamin, asking him to promote their new Star Wars: Battlefront game.

Benjamin took to Instagram to show the brand what he really thought of the game.

Picture source: Instagram

 

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4. Duchesnay working with Kim Kardashian

For many brands, working with influencers fits well, for pharmaceutical products it can be a bit trickier. Advertising rules mean that medicines and drugs are required to provide information on the potential side effects of the product. In this case, Kim Kardashian did not include the details of any side effects in her post for Duchesnay’s morning sickness drug, Diclegis.

Only focusing on the benefits of the product, and not highlighting any risks, caused the FDA to warn Kim that she would face regulatory action if the post was not removed or corrected.

Picture source: Instagram

 

5. Adidas working with Naomi Campbell

Another caption fail. Naomi Campbell copied and pasted the full message and posted without removing the instructions from Adidas first. It’s an embarrassing mistake that caused fans to mock both Naomi and Adidas. No wonder influencer trust is dropping.

Picture source: Instagram

 

6. Snickers working with Katie Price and Ian Botham

There are many rules that brands and influencers must follow when working together. Although influencer posts aim to look authentic, identifying that it is a paid collaboration is important.

When Snickers collaborated with Katie Price and Ian Botham they created a Twitter campaign focused around their “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” slogan. The campaign featured Katie and Ian posting content that seemed out of place for their audience, followed by a sponsored post about Snickers using their famous slogan.

The tweets got lots of attention before the final reveal that it was all a Snickers ad.

The campaign was reviewed by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) as it was unclear that the initial tweets were sponsored posts. Although, the ASA concluded that the campaign was acceptable, it shows the importance of making sure your content complies with regulations at every stage.

Picture source: Twitter

 

7. Tower Jewellers working with Terrie McEvoy

Back in 2015 Terrie McEvoy worked with Tower Jewellers on an Instagram competition. Soon afterwards, it was found that Terrie had rigged the competition so two of her friends won the prize.

Terrie McEvoy

Picture source: Instagram

 

8. Bootea working with Scott Disick

Another case of copy and paste, Scott Disick used the whole brand message rather than just cutting off the caption.

Picture source: Instagram

 

These fails not only make the influencers look foolish, it negatively affects the brands through loss of reputation, bad press, and even loss of sales.

Losing trust in influencers? Did you know that 92% of consumers trust ambassadors, real customers and fans, while only 18% trust influencers. Find out how you can amplify your campaigns using ambassadors, book a demo of Brandbassador today.