Three Times Brands Saved Their Reputations Through Marketing Campaigns

By Stef Oh

What do you do when you find yourself in a situation that could damage your reputation? Do you cry? Do you ignore it and pray that it goes away?

In the case of companies, when a crisis that could potentially harm their reputation crops up, some of them choose to cover it up, some choose to ignore it, but the best of companies own it.  There has been a recent trend of brands using their negative situation to their advantage by turning it into an innovative marketing campaign.  

Let’s take a look at the few brands that have managed to pull it off successfully.

1. KFC - “FCK, We’re Sorry”

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In 2018, KFC, ran out of chicken in the U.K. Many frequent KFC patrons were very upset that they were unable to get their fried chicken fix and even tried to involve the police. They took the problem to social media with the hashtag #KFCCrisis.

In response, KFC admitted their mistake and apologized to their disappointed fans through a very creative advertisement. Using a little wordplay on KFC’s name, they rearranged the letters to say “FCK, We’re sorry.”

This marketing stunt was very well received and those who were affected by the situation decided to give KFC a second chance. Not to mention, this also gave the internet something else to talk about – their stellar reputation management.

2. Burger King - “Flame Grilled Since 1954”

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More Burger King restaurants have been burned down than any other fast food chains. Instead of letting this fact shine a negative light of Burger King, they decided to turn it around with a creative campaign – “Flame Grilled Since 1954”.

Using actual photos of Burger King restaurants burning down, they let people know that true to their word, they do flame grill their burgers.

Although it did spark some debate on whether it was a good idea to make light of such a catastrophe, but that sure is one way to use a disaster to their advantage. 

3. Dominos - “Pizza Turnaround”

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Back in the 2000s, Dominos had a reputation for having the worst pizza. Hence, in 2009, they decided to change that, and began by first humbly acknowledging that they suck.  

In their campaign, it was refreshing to see Dominos admit that they had dreadful pizzas and were committed to improving them. Domino’s humility and transparency made consumers trust them and allowed Dominos to earn a better reputation.

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Using humor to make fun of themselves, humanized these brands, allowing consumers to relate to and trust them. So, kudos to them for owning their mistakes and coming up with such creative marketing campaigns in response.

 

Neha Saboo