You can either look at it as a complete disaster or as one of the greatest marketing stunts in history. When New Coke was released, the massive backlash against it caused Coca Cola to bring back the original drink labeled as Coke Classic, before slowly returning the original formula to the marketplace and dropping New Coke altogether.
Although the hatred for the new GAP logo is almost universal, all it really did is put the store in the media and gave it a slew of free advertising.
Pontiac Give Away Cars
Giving away a large quantity of your brand new car for free can gain you plenty of publicity, but who remembers what type of car it was that Oprah gave away on her show? If you didn’t, now you know it was a Pontiac.
Death of Superman
It got a lot of mainstream recognition, but it almost helped kill the comic industry back in the 90’s for a while.
Taco Liberty Bell
Taco Bell ran an ad for April Fools stating that they had bought the Liberty Bell and that it would from then on be known as the “Taco Liberty Bell”. There were a lot of complaints about it, but Taco Bell came out of the whole thing with $500,000 more in revenue for that single day.
During a Rugby Union between Australia and New Zealand, two men ran onto the field completely naked, with the Vodafone logo painted onto their bodies. Vodafone got in trouble with the police over the incident, and it didn’t help them that much at all.
As a promotion, Starbucks sent coupons for free Iced Coffee via email to some employees and encouraged them to forward them to others. What they didn’t realize was that you could print them off as many times as you want, and after being circulated to thousands, were looking to be in the hole a few million before they pulled the plug. It ended up getting them a class action suit worth $114 million from disgruntled customers.
Pudding = Lifetime of Free Flight
A promotion offering 1000 free flyer miles in return for 10 barcodes from the range of products by Healthy Choice turned into a nightmare, as one man scammed his way into an almost lifetime worth of free flights, all because he bought a lot of chocolate pudding.