Well…that didn’t go as expected

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Well… that promotion didn’t go as planned?”  If so, you probably dissected, analyzed, and scrutinized the plans and outcomes to improve your next campaign.  LG will certainly be doing a whole lot of scrutinizing and damage control after their latest blooper.

Earlier this week, LG launched a campaign to put smartphone vouchers in 100 helium-filled balloons and release them to the public. Each voucher entitled the winner to claim an LG smartphone worth approximately $850. They used social media to promote the event and invited the public to the release party.

Attendees not only brought their overwhelming enthusiasm, they also brought BB guns, knives taped to sticks, and all sorts of gadgets and gizmos to try to pop the balloons before they even started circulating.  You can imagine the outcome once the balloons were released.  Pandemonium broke out, twenty people were injured, and LG scrapped all subsequent events. PR stunts will come and go and some create fantastic buzz.  This however, serves as another example of not thinking things through.

Two years ago, the Boston Red Sox carried out a balloon release with great success. Instead of releasing balloons, which contained tickets and vouchers for Red Sox memorabilia, they hid them all over the city.  There were no reported incidents and the Boston balloon scavenger hunt was a hit on social media.

Marketers need to remember to always take a look at the big picture, and consider not only what can go right, but what could go wrong.  Mitigate risk, as they say.  LG will surely revamp and come back stronger.  I’m excited to see what they come up with next.

What lessons have you learned from promotions that didn’t go quite as planned? Let us know!

Until next time.

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