The Funniest Marketing and Fails of 2021 so far

This week we’re bringing you “The Funniest Marketing and Fails of 2021 so far” a look at the do’s and don’ts’ of Marketing. We can’t be the only ones that have noticed the polarisation of Marketing campaigns this year. Some brands like Nationwide and Smirnoff, to name a couple, are focusing on their heritage and nostalgia in an attempt to strengthen their place in consumers hearts.

On the opposite front others are choosing to inject life and humour into their Marketing – no wonder, since studies have shown that engaging the funny bone is a powerful tool for brands that need to build engagement with their audiences. Clearly there’s a line that needs to be observed depending on your industry but get it right and the results can be staggering.

If you need a little light relief from building your empire this is it – the funniest Marketing and Fails of 2021 so far. We’re passionate about Marketing and Demand Generation so we’ve always got our eyes peeled for great campaigns, content and creative. Great campaigns spark inspiration across our team and for our clients – but every so often some Brands either get it spot on or miss the mark and the results can be hilarious. We’ll leave it up to you decide which is your favourite.

Weetabix does Beans

If you missed it, you might have been the only person on the planet that missed this corker of a tweet from Weetabix and Heinz – in what we can only presume was a bid to create a little controversy they posted this corker of a combo….

Weetabix Funny Marketing

Love it or hate it (we’re very strongly the latter) you can’t ignore how much debate and discussion this sparked! Our favourite has to be Domino’s

Special mention to Nando’s who true to their Brand gave us this little gem

Hague Club/ Aviation Gin/ DeLeon @ The Superbowl

Ok so most small business won’t be thinking about collaborating with Hollywood A-Listers but we could all learn a lot from the self-effacing nature of this ad. Whatever your product all your messaging doesn’t have to be serious or heavy weight – we all relate to real people and so showing the “real you” is a great way to start.

There’s a serious message in supporting COVID-19 out of work bartenders but the whole aim of this campaign is to raise awareness of the Brands with their ambassadors’ front and centre. As well as being a hilarious micky take we just love P.Diddy’s comment “It tastes like ass feet.” Although perhaps we wouldn’t go quite that far!!


Who doesn’t love a good Meme? McDonalds, that’s who – especially when they’re from Burger King who bought us these classics

Before you start bombarding our inbox – we know they’re not all strictly meme’s. As marketers we can learn a good (and hilariously tasty) lesson from our friends at BK though – their feeds (haha) are not only engaging and human but relevant and spot-on timing wise giving them mass appeal and super shareability.

Burger King – No Artificial Preservatives.

Talking of BK we couldn’t help but include this whopper (pun fan’s – you’re welcome) of a fail. If you missed it, BK were attempting to demonstrate the wholesome nature of their produce by showing the burger degrading naturally over 30+ days. The result? Check it out for yourself….a mouldy burger isn’t the ideal spokesmodel for fast food and prompted a backlash from consumers suddenly no longer hungry.

Ironically the campaign did get Burger King a host of publicity so in one way we guess – job done?!

Mondelez’s epic “Humaning” fail.

If you haven’t seen this one trust us, you’re not missing anything – this one actually had great intentions of creating “real human connections” but was widely slammed by consumers and the advertising world as (and we quote) “the biggest piece of bullshit in marketing history”

They billed this brand strategy as:

“Humaning is a unique, consumer-centric approach to marketing that creates real, human connections with purpose, moving Mondelēz International beyond cautious, data-driven tactics, and uncovering what unites us all. We are no longer marketing to consumers, but creating connections with humans.”

Why? How did they get this so wrong? Yes, we all want connection and yes, we all want snacks but together? And so overtly forced? No thank you – another good lesson for us all, if it feels forced and a bit “w*nky” then it probably is – scrap it and go to the pub.

Personalisation – this really tickled one of our team.

As you all know by now, we’re passionate about delivering Marketing and Sales success for Small Businesses and while you’ll recognise the big brands above this is a great example of Small Businesses using humour to engage their audience.

Check out the subject line…doesn’t it feel like a really familiar, warm and funny way of greeting someone? In a world where every email could have come out of the same email factory then this really stood out. Even in emails this type of quirky and memorable insert worked a treat for us, well done Good Stuff No Nonsense.

Well, there you have it – the Funniest Marketing and Fails of 2021 so far. All of which just goes to prove that humour in Marketing can be a risky business, after all, what tickles your funny bone may not tickle ours. One thing is for certain whichever route you to choose to take with your Marketing strategy keeping it authentic to you and your Brand should always take priority.


Posted by Helen Brookes on Monday 15th February 2021