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Updated: Apr 22, 2023

Marketing is an essential part of the business, but some miss management marketing tactics hurt the brand value, This blog gives you why a should brand does not need aggressive marketing. Due to a wrong decision, this becomes too dangerous for a country or also for the brand, Let's see some case studies-


Pepsi Dedly

In 1992, Pepsi Philippines launched what would become one of the deadliest marketing campaigns in history. The campaign, dubbed "Number Fever," promised a chance to win cash prizes by matching the three-digit number found on the inside of Pepsi bottle caps with the winning numbers announced on TV.

The campaign was an immediate hit, with consumers buying more than 51 million bottles in the first two months alone. However, the promotion quickly spiraled out of control, leading to riots, deaths, and accusations of fraud.

winning number of philipines pepsi

One of the major issues with the campaign was the difficulty in claiming prizes. Pepsi announced the winning numbers on TV, but it could take weeks for the winning bottle caps to be collected, verified, and awarded. This caused frustration and anger among consumers who had spent significant amounts of money buying Pepsi products in hopes of winning a prize.

Another issue was the perceived unfairness of the promotion. While Pepsi claimed that the winning numbers were randomly generated, many consumers believed that the company was manipulating the results to avoid awarding the top prizes.

These frustrations reached a boiling point on May 25, 1992, when a false rumor circulated that the winning number was "349." Thousands of Filipinos took to the streets, causing riots and looting in major cities. In the chaos, five people were killed, and dozens more were injured.

Pepsi Philippines eventually canceled the campaign and offered a consolation prize to consumers who had collected the "349" bottle caps. However, this did little to quell the public outrage and lawsuits against the company followed.

The "Number Fever" campaign serves as a cautionary tale for businesses about the dangers of poorly executed promotions. While the campaign initially generated significant buzz and sales, the inability to effectively manage the promotion and respond to customer complaints led to tragedy and significant damage to the brand's reputation.

Surf Excel's "Rang Laaye Sang" Ad-


In 2019, Surf Excel's Holi ad featuring children playing with colors sparked controversy and backlash for promoting religious intolerance. The ad shows a Hindu girl staining a Muslim boy's clothes with color, and then the boy returns the favor. Many viewers perceived the ad as promoting religious conversion, and it led to widespread boycotts and calls to ban the brand.

Tanishq's "Ekatvam" Ad-


In 2020, Tanishq's Diwali ad featuring an interfaith couple sparked controversy and backlash for promoting "love jihad" and glorifying interfaith marriage. The ad showed a Muslim family preparing for a Hindu daughter-in-law's baby shower, leading to calls for boycotts and vandalism of Tanishq stores.

KENT RO's "Atta and Bread Maker" Ad-


In 2021, KENT RO's ad for their Atta and Bread Maker drew criticism for promoting misogyny and gender stereotypes. The ad depicted a man coming home from work and berating his wife for not having freshly made roti (Indian bread) ready for him. The ad was widely criticized for promoting the idea that women are solely responsible for household chores and catering to men's needs.


These ads highlight the importance of responsible and sensitive advertising, as poorly executed campaigns can have severe consequences. In the age of social media, ads that are perceived as insensitive or offensive can quickly go viral, leading to significant damage to a brand's reputation and bottom line.

Don't Do this if you try to market your Brand-

Tone-Deaf Advertising-

One of the most infamous examples of tone-deaf advertising was Pepsi’s 2017 ad featuring Kendall Jenner. The ad depicted Jenner giving a Pepsi to a police officer during a protest, seemingly solving the issue at hand. The ad was widely criticized for trivializing the Black Lives Matter movement and other social justice protests.

Spamming Customers-

Sending excessive emails or messages to customers can be perceived as spam, which can lead to them unsubscribing or even blocking the company.

Offensive Social Media Posts-

Social media provides a platform for companies to connect with customers, but it’s essential to think before posting. In 2018, Papa John’s faced controversy after the founder and former CEO made racist comments during a conference call. The company faced backlash for failing to address the issue promptly and appropriately, resulting in significant damage to the brand's reputation.

Unfulfilled Promises-

Making grandiose promises to customers and failing to deliver can have severe consequences. In 2013, Microsoft released the Xbox One with several advertised features, including the ability to share games and access TV shows. However, the company later announced they were canceling these features, leading to backlash from consumers who felt misled.

Ignoring Customer Feedback-

Ignoring customer feedback can be detrimental to any business. In 2017, United Airlines faced a public relations crisis after forcibly removing a passenger from an overbooked flight. The company faced backlash for its lack of empathy and failure to address customer complaints.

In conclusion, marketing is a vital aspect of any business, but it's essential to implement tactics carefully and considerately. Companies should prioritize listening to customers, being sensitive to social issues, and fulfilling promises.


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