The most used phrase of this past year might possibly have been “What were they thinking?” From athletes to tech geeks to toilet paper, the crash-and-burn episodes of 2010 were full of comedy, stupidity and, in the case of Cleveland, OH, heartbreak. It was hard to narrow this category down to just ten, so please share any other ones that had you scratching your head in disbelief.
NBC’s attempt and subsequent failure at reshaping prime time TV led to the creation of the lovable Conan O’Brien monster and turned NBC into both a laughingstock and a villain.
2. Gap’s New Look
When the retailer tried to quietly roll out it’s new logo, it was met with a consumer backlash across all social media fronts. The negative responses caused Gap to reconsider the new look.
3. ESPN’s LeBron James Show
ESPN, a so-called news network, made itself look like it worked for LeBron, while LeBron essentially threw an hour long party just to tell his “wife” (the Cavs and its fans) he wanted a divorce. The nationwide backlash scared Nike into rehabbing The King’s image with the commercial below.
4. Microsoft’s Kin
In an attempt to break into the cell phone rat race, Microsoft launched, and failed the Kin so fast you probably missed it. I’m still not even sure what angle the company was trying to take with its marketing of the phone.
5. Nielsen’s Miscount
In November Nielson revealed it had been underestimating the number of unique visitors to the top 1,000 website by an average of 5% and it had to say goodbye to its hope of becoming the standard for online measurement.
6. IPhone 4
Thanks to the slip of the tongue, or hand in this case, by an Apple engineer, bloggers got a hold of this new gadget before it was released. Add in the technical difficulties for left-handed people and this phone became Steve Jobs’ number one headache.
The shocking, and scary, congressional win by the Delaware politician was dubbed the second coming of Sarah Palin. But alas, the new face of the Tea Party quickly became a constant source of embarrassment.
8. Chevron and the Media Get Douped
The activist group The Yes Men, along with Rainforest Action Network and Amazon Watch, hijacked Chevron’s brand, its ads and its PR push. And guess what, the media fell for all the fake press releases, fake Chevron sites and even a fake AdAge site.
9. Bye Bye Bare Bear Bottoms (Say that five times fast)
Crying fowl on Charmin’s ad slogan (leaves fewer pieces behind than Cottonelle), Kimberly-Clark sued Proctor&Gamble. The claim stated that tests used by P&G did not mimic the way humans wiped. The result was that the cartoon bears used by Charmin had to have little flecks of cartoon toilet paper on their bottoms in all advertisement.
10. Steve Slater vs. Airline
Who could blame the flight attendant who popped the emergency exit slide and took off with beers in hand? After all, we have all been frustrated with airline travel at some point in time. Unfortunately for Jet Blue, they weren’t allowed to say anything about the incident and had to let Steve go. And go he did, right on to becoming a media sensation.