Awkward marketing moment

“During Covid, we ran a very successful ad campaign for a client. The client was thrilled with it and remains a client until this day. But there was an awkward, humorous bump along the way that drove home a couple of important lessons for us.

In the midst of the campaign, I received a scathing email from a contact associated with the client (who is no longer with them.) This contact spotted a racy ad alongside the YouTube video we had uploaded to their channel for them. He was furious and copied the entire team for amplification. He was appalled that the company’s product was appearing on the same page as an ad for a sex toy.

I had to privately explain to him what most of the people he copied on the email already knew – that Google serves ads to you based on your personal search history.

Many lessons were awkwardly learned that day. The two my team will always remember:

1) Marketers, help your clients understand how their campaign will work so there will be no surprises for them – especially embarrassing ones.

2) All of us, never blast the entire team on an accusatory email. If you do, make sure you’re clear on who triggered the concern, or it could be very embarrassing.”

– David Azar,  Outsmart Labs


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