The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Ad Campaigns

According to Statista, companies in North America will spend close to 400 billion on advertising while this figure is close to £35 billion in the UK. Companies on both sides of the Atlantic spend between 10% to 13% of their overall budget on marketing, although this may differ from industry to industry. Either way you look at it, marketing and advertising are crucial to a company’s growth and budget. In this article we’ll look at some effective, and not so effective ads, that have managed to convey a company’s reason for existing and those that missed the mark completely. Read on to learn more about ad campaigns.

Ad Campaigns

The Good

When devising an ad campaign, there are many factors that companies may wish to advertise about their products. It can be difficult to pick and choose what to focus on but some companies have managed it. Take for example, Betfair, the UK betting company that claims to ‘cut out the middleman’.

They allow gamblers to offer odds to their fellow gamblers as well as casino games such as blackjack which can be found at, or slot games and roulette. Working with the marketing agency, Albion, they created a marketing campaign around the phrase ‘cutting out the middleman’. Playing on vernacular that is common in business, they could advertise to the average person on their terms, while capturing their raison d’etre.

Another company who got it right in the UK, were Boots who created the ‘Summer Better Be Ready’ campaign which gave the company a return of investment of £2.50 for every £1 spent. A part of the success of the campaign was sampling Fugee’s classic Ready or Not:

The Bad

There are plenty of companies who have got it wrong when it comes to their ad campaigns. Nivea, Nike, Burger King have all recently fallen foul of the masses and with social media always watching, made swift to apologies.

Adidas were also caught out when they announced a new campaign partnering with Arsenal. The campaign idea was well received but when they let users submit their twitter handles to be put on the back of the new Arsenal shirts things began to go south. There was no apology needed this time, but the event served a reminder to companies about the power of the public.

The Ugly

Pepsi is one company who infamously missed the mark completely when devising an ad campaign involving Kendall Jenner in 2017. The fallout included issuing an apology and removing the ad and any further rollout.

Misguided, a fast fashion brand, also missed the mark when they recently sold a bikini for £1. The item sold out, but many commentators and consumers were not impressed by the campaign and the value placed on the product.

Some companies may claim there’s no such thing as bad press as it puts the company name in the public domain. However, as companies continue to spend millions of pounds and dollars on advertising, potentially reaching $1.25 trillion in 2030, as shown at, they would prefer the noise to be favourable.