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4 of the Best and Worst Marketing Moves We Saw in 2019

Jasmine LeBlanc 1/3/20 4:30 PM

We see a lot of marketing campaigns each year, so many that we become numb to most ads we see in our day-to-day lives. But, then there are those ads that are so good or so bad that they stick with us and we can't help but talk about them.

Not only do we talk about them, but as marketing experts we are able to learn lessons from these marketing moves and apply them to our strategy. In this post, our team will share the best or worst marketing move they saw this year and what lesson can be learned from the campaign.

1. Bed Bath & Beyond's Offline Shopping Youtube Ad

Why Jasmine Picked This for Worst Marketing Move:

Bed Bath & Beyond has been on a decline for the past couple of years. Truth be told, it has failed to keep up with its ecommerce competitors. It has also failed to realize that its notorious "20% off a single item" coupon is a customer's last resort if they can't find the item they are looking for on Amazon or another big-box store that offers better deals.

Knowing all of that information, I was shocked to see an ad from them on YouTube promoting "offline shopping":


The ad itself is silly and lighthearted, but the message it's trying to send is confusing and a little off-putting. In the ad, the woman is shopping for home decor and she is sincerely confused about the concept of in-store shopping, or as the store associate labels it "offline shopping".

The store associate then explains that the benefits of in-store shopping are that you can touch things before you buy them and that you don't have to wait for shipping. 

Here's what makes the ad confusing:

  • Everyone understands the concept of in-store shopping and its benefits. In contrast, we also understand the benefits of online shopping. So, if your target audience has a preference then why aren't you adapting your business model and strategy around it? 
  • The "come to our store in person" messaging is more impactful when you hear it coming from a mom-and-pop shop because people can empathize supporting a local small business. The same feelings aren't evoked when it comes to supporting a declining big-box store.

Lastly, it seemed like it was yet another playful dig about millennials being so sucked into technology and not knowing the true value of shopping in store. But this Twitter user brought up a great point:

We do shop in-store when it's convenient or a pleasant experience. This ad didn't really accomplish its goal of giving people an actual reason to shop at their store which is why I chose it as the worst marketing move I saw.

2. Disney+'s Pre-Release Trailer

Why Jacob Picked This for Best Marketing Move:

Disney generated a LOT of buzz and got a lot of buy-in through their pre-release ads alone.

Here is the short trailer released:

But they also released a 3 hour trailer for people to watch:

Emotionally, they were captivating and nostalgic. And because Disney’s content is so recognizable, they were able to impress viewers by packing content references into extremely short clips so they could be delivered in large volumes. After watching one of their pre-release trailers you knew that anything you could possibly want to see that Disney produced would be available.

Disney Plus subscriptions exceeded 10 million subscribers on their first day. I think it’s safe to say that at least part of that growth was due to their pre-release marketing campaigns.

That pre-release marketing can work really well, especially if you have an established and recognizable brand. It also goes to show that brand recognition is important. Disney is one of the only companies I know of that could likely pull off 10 million subscribers on the first day, and that’s because they are a household name and have been for decades.

3. The Bell Hotel by Taco Bell

Why Michelle Picked This for Best Marketing Move:

Taco Bell launched The Bell Hotel in August 2019. 😳 Yes, you read that correctly, they took over the V Palm Springs Hotel for a 4-day immersive Taco Bell brand experience for its fans.

Take a look inside the hotel:


I think the hotel launch was a smart move! The reservations were gone in 2 minutes. Taco Bell is really in tune with their consumers. And they are wanting to provide them an experience which is so important to their target audience.

I applaud them for having the courage to push the envelope and try new things by expanding into areas no other fast food chain has even dared. They are definitely at the forefront of the industry when it comes to building more than just a place that you want to go eat.

Not sure where to start with narrowing down your target customer? 🙋‍♀️ We’ve got you! Here are some key blogs to help you out:

4. Planters 2019 Super Bowl Ad

Why Justin Picked This As Worst Marketing Move:

This ad seemed like a waste of a spot in the Super Bowl ad line up for Planters. They squeezed way too much in and had celebrity drop-ins that distracted from the overall messaging of the ad.

Here's the ad:

It's no secret that advertising during the Super Bowl is ridiculously expensive, so why blow it by having someone with a crazy background like Charlie Sheen? It's very unlikely for brands to want to be associated with a persona that doesn't have a clean image. It just seemed like they could have made a more memorable ad about their brand for such a big opportunity like a Super Bowl commercial.

They could learn to partner with another strong brand like HBO and BudLight did. Check out this extend ad view.

Those were our picks for 2019. Be sure to keep these lessons in mind for your marketing ideas this year!