Examples of digital marketing fails (broken windows)

The last time I gave a workshop on the Broken Windows Theory and how it related to marketing, a participant gave me feedback that I needed to include more web-based and digital examples. And, she’s absolutely right.

So to fix that, I’ve started collecting digital examples of broken windows. Taking inspiration from one of the blogs I read for fun, McMansion Hell, I’ve added parody comments to the photos.

Without further adieu, enjoy!

Priority Pass website with residence spelled incorrectly

Another fun fact about this one: I was nice and emailed their support department over a month ago and let them know about the typo. I got a standard, “thanks for your feedback” macro response. But did they fix it? Nope.

Cooking light recipe missing ingredients

So much for wanting to make this recipe

Branding to millennials web banner where millennials is spelled wrong. It also shows only white men and they are using their technology in ways that looks like work. There is only one woman in the photo. She's white, and taking a selfie

Thanks to a friend for sending me this one. Beyond the typos, my friend pointed out that the graphic is also problematic; it only shows white millennials even though millennials are incredibly diverse, and the only woman depicted is using her technology to narcissistically take a selfie.

Linked in notification, saying I haven't connected with a coworker for 2 years, even though I work with him every day

Let’s be real here for a minute: We really know why this came up. Phil hasn’t had a need to get on LinkedIn in a few years and they want him back, because eyeballs mean ad revenue. So it’s more about getting him back than doing to me a favor. But to me, it feels like that ex who tells your friends to tell you that they “just hope you are well” in hopes you’ll take that as a cue to contact them.

To give LinkedIn credit, this may be helpful at a large organization where you don’t interact with almost everyone every day. So, for this one, it could be a simple change to the algorithm; only show these messages if it’s an organization of x (200?) employees or more.

Screenshot of a law firm website where the photo of the lawyers is pixelated in a way that gives them a weird halo/aura around their heads

Two ideas of how this might have went down:

Option 1:

Web designer: Can you send me a high resolution version of the photo of you in the courtroom?

Lawyers: Sure. Here you go.

Web designer: Um, that’s low resolution. Can you send me the high res file?

Lawyers: We sent you the file.

Web designer: Yes, I know, but you sent me the low res file

Lawyers: We sent you the file!!!! Just do your file.

Web designer: (sigh) Fine. I give up (or a stronger version of this)

Option 2:

Web designer: We need high quality photos for the website

Lawyers: How much is that going to cost?

Web designer: (gives number)

Lawyers: What?!? That’s too much money. Ted’s kid does a great job taking photos. We’ll just have him do it with his phone.

Web designer: Those won’t look good

Lawyers: They’ll look fine…

On another note, the reason I ended up on their website in the first place is because of some entertaining billboard replacement.

A billboard for a law firm that represents drunk driving cases. Below it is a billboard for Miller Lite

Moving on…

A screenshot of an email promotion from a gym advertising a pizza and beer party after a new workout class

I don’t think I’ll ever tire of the hypocrisy of gyms serving pizza and beer. This one is especially fun because the fitness center is tied to a hospital.

An iphone screenshot of Jason's Deli's website with the words "Access Denied" when I tried to click on their nutrition information

Actually they are right, I don’t want to see the nutrition info. I’m happy being blissfully unaware in this case.

iphone screenshot of a website with an error message that says "email not exists"

There, I fixed it.

Fair use disclaimer

All screenshots are used in this post under fair use for the purposes of education, satire, and parody, consistent with 17 USC §107.

How young professionals buy gifts

It’s Thursday night at 10 p.m. and I just found out that  my friend’s birthday is on Monday (not shocking, I’m horrible with important dates).  I decide he needs a present.

Gift-giving as a young professional can be a challenge for the following reasons:

  • My young professional friends, because of jobs or just looking for a life change, are scattered across the country and the globe. Mailing packages is slow and expensive.
  • Many of my friends are located in major metropolitan areas and, thus have small living arrangements. Material gifts (decorations, etc.) are not a good thing to send someone with only 600 square feet to work with (unless you are an IKEA guru of course).
  • Many of my friends are single and very professionally successful. They can mostly buy whatever they want themselves.

This particular friend lives in Miami, (side note: if you are beautiful, single, independent woman in Miami, I have a guy for you!).  So, how do I make sure he has a present from me on his special day?

A plate of an assortment of baklava
Photo from Flickr: Bitman

Purchase a gift the way many young professionals do these days:

  1. Conduct a Google search to get the address of his office (note: had I not known the name of his company, I would have checked his LinkedIn profile to get it).
  2. Type in his office address into Yelp and search for food nearby (I’ve found that food delivery is a great gift for my guy friends). Sort the results by distance from his office.
  3. Discover that there is a baklava place right down the road from him. This happens to be his favorite treat. Read the online Yelp reviews and they are very positive.
  4. Click-through to the restaurants website, which is actually Eat24hours.com, a food delivery ordering site.  Perfect!
  5. Order a good amount of baklava, select Monday at 11 a.m. as the delivery time, add extra tip to encourage safe and accurate delivery, write-in notes recommending they call him ahead of time since he won’t be expecting it, and pay via debit card.
  6. Receive a thank you text from him on Monday.
  7. Feel like a good friend for getting him something he will enjoy.