Your office is set up, website is live, employees are hired and now it is time to work. The question is how will your potential customers find you? Over the years The biggest brands to the smallest brands have created controversy for ‘crossing the line’ when it comes to their marketing campaigns. But as P.T. Barnum was once quoted as saying ‘There is no such thing as bad publicity’. Is this still true in a digital era?

Over the years we have seen a rise in backlash people taking to the internet to complain or voice opinions on the standard of marketing. Who can forget the ‘Are you beach body ready?’ campaign that Protein World launched in 2015. The backlash was swift and vocal, but was it bad for business. There was an outcry online saying they would never buy the product, but was their opposition to the product a boost to the brand name over all? Three years later and Protein World is still running strong, so it begs the question. Did the below campaign fail?

Even global giant Pepsi received flack in 2017 for its relatively absurd look at how to quell demonstrations in the street by sharing a Pepsi with a Police officer. The swiftness of the back stepping that took place was one that would make the Flash say, ‘damn that was fast’, but did it hurt the overall brand? Actually during the outbreak of the media storm Pepsi stocks surged, it wasn’t until they pulled the ad did the stock dip, and it didn’t fall off a cliff. In fact, competitor Coca-Cola who you would think would benefit, closed that day down .26% with Pepsi only falling .12%.

But that doesn’t mean every marketing fail has a rosy outcome for the company. Although in reality taking a bit more of a risqué approach in your marketing may not always be a bad thing. The core idea needs to relate back to the tone of voice for your brand. Is your audience one that could handle a bit more out of the box marketing?

So go forth, walk that line between what is considered good taste and poor taste. You are competing with millions of companies trying to get that ever shrinking attention span of consumers. Be sure to keep in mind, the news cycle is ever changing so if you do cross the line, hold tight, another company is right behind you waiting to take over the title as biggest marketing fail of 2018.

“Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained”― Geoffrey Chaucer