William Wrigley, founder of Wrigley’s Gum, invented direct mail marketing. In 1915 he mailed a pack of gum to every person in the phone directory in the United States.
The unfortunately named “Ayds” dieter’s chocolate considered a name change when the AIDS crisis hit. Executives resisted with one saying “The product has been around for 45 years. Let the disease change its name.” – The name was later changed to “Diet Ayds” before being pulled from the market.
Before the mass marketing of tobacco, lung cancer was so rare that doctors took special notice when confronted with a case, thinking it a once-in-a-lifetime oddity.
Coca-Cola’s failed its “Magican” campaign. They sold cans that contained spring loaded tabs to dispense cash prizes. Prize cans contained a foul smelling liquid instead of cola to prevent drinking. Though harmless, one child drank it and Coca-Cola ended the campaign 3 weeks later due to backlash.
A Japanese company sold Adult Milk – for adults living in a stressful society. The milk cost ¥5000 ($47) per bottle, and was taken from cows once a week at the break of dawn, as they discharge a lot of melatonin, a stress-relieving hormone. It contained 3-4 times more melatonin than regular milk
Philadelphia Cream Cheese was invented in New York and has never been produced in Philadelphia. It’s name is was a 1880s marketing strategy because at the time Philadelphia was known for high quality dairy.
In 2012, Dunkin’ Donuts launched an ad campaign in Seoul, Korea where scent spray devices installed on buses would release a fragrant coffee aroma when triggered by the sound of the Dunkin’ Donuts radio jingle. The campaign reached more than 350,000 people, and sales near bus stops increased by 29%.
In 2009, Tropicana invested $35 million to rebrand their Orange Juice packaging. Within two months of the change, sales dropped 20% and they lost significant market share before switching back to their original carton. The failed marketing experiment cost them over $50 million.
Victoria’s Secret was originally marketed to men to buy for their partners. Leslie Wexner bought it for $1 million and changed the marketing to women. To create the illusion of luxury the company listed its headquarters on catalogs at a fake London address, with the real one in Columbus, Ohio.
Costco purposefully designed their store without signs to force people to wander through all the aisles and find things to buy.