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Posts Tagged ‘branding fail’

Whoops: Subway’s ‘Footlong’ Doesn’t Quite Measure Up

Subway SubmanHey, what’s an inch between friends?

If it contradicts the selling point behind your signature product, it can be a big deal. So when a curious Australian Subway customer discovered that his “footlong” sub sandwich was, in fact, only 11 inches long, he decided to vent his frustration in the most modern way: he took a picture of the offending item beside a ruler and posted it on the company’s Facebook page along with the simple request “subway plz respond.”

And then, of course, everybody went nuts.

So is this a PR mess, or what?

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Half a Million People Urge Macy’s to ‘Dump Trump’

Macy's Department Store New York CityDisclaimer: We hate to give undue attention to Donald Trump, but this story simply offers too much Schadenfreude to pass up.

Despite the controversy inspired by The Donald’s presidential run, conspiracy theory stunts and Twitter freakouts over the past year or so, Macy’s apparently plans to stand by its (spokes)man. An official company statement called him “important to Macy’s, both as a brand and as an endorser”, noting that his ties are top-sellers.

“The world’s largest store” doesn’t just carry Trump’s clothing and his signature fragrance “Success by Trump”; it also included him in a huge upcoming Christmas ad campaign starring Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Martha Stewart, Tommy Hilfiger and more in a blatant re-purposing of the holiday classic Miracle on 34th Street.

Yet the man may prove to be more of a liability than Macy’s would like. Signon.org, a subsidiary of political advocacy group Moveon.org that claims to have helped engineer several political PR wins, recently posted a petition urging Macy’s to “Dump Donald Trump”–and as of today, the page has nearly reached its goal of half a million signatures.

The petition statement reads:

“Macy’s: Donald Trump does not reflect the ‘magic of Macy’s.’ We urge you to sever ties with him. Macy’s says it has a strong obligation to be ‘socially responsible’ and that ‘actions speak louder than words.’ Indeed. It’s time to act.”

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Branding Fail: Ellen Mocks Bic’s ‘For Her’ Line

Let’s get the obvious out of the way: Bic’s “For Her” pen series was a really dumb idea. Why, exactly, would women need a different sort of writing utensil—not to mention a premium pen that costs nearly twice as much as the company’s other, 99% identical products? Are we to assume they’re all “For Him”? Bic’s big selling point: this revolutionary line was “designed to fit a woman’s hand”–whatever that means.

For once, we see the inevitable internet outrage as completely justified–this is one of the more condescending exercises in “brandering” (we just made that up) that we’ve seen recently. Forbes even tried to figure out what the hell Bic was thinking and came up empty-handed. 

Here’s the good part: The always-funny Ellen Degeneres caught wind of the stupid story when Bic had the…balls to try recruiting her as a spokesman. She was so peeved that she took four minutes on her show this week to shame the company with a monologue and a fake commercial. We would write more, but we’d rather just let this bit stand on its own:

Touché! (For some more clever takedowns, check out the product’s Amazon page.)