John Singer Sargent’s Marketing Blunder – The Madame X Debacle

By Dan Lavie / October 8, 2016

John Singer Sargent painted his famous Madame X portrait in 1884. The marketing concept behind it was quite ingenious; the American socialite wanted to climb the social ladder and the American painter wanted to become famous. It looked like a marketing match made in heaven. The execution was perfect:  Sargent painted her in a little black number with a bare shoulder and her wedding ring on her left hand. Esthetical as well as provocative, so what could go wrong? Well,…

Airbnb’s New Logo – An Epic Marketing Blunder

By Dan Lavie / July 14, 2014

Airbnb just unveiled its new logo called “the Belo”. In the color Magenta, it strives to combine the concept of Yahoo’s distinctive purple and Nike’s famous Swoosh. Airbnb enables users to list their homes on the web and rent them out to guests. The company wants to add more sharing products and services to its offerings, such as surfing lessons. For its rebranding, Airbnb turned to DesignStudio, a young London-based global branding and design agency, that has as its mission…

IKEA’s Marketing Blunder

By Dan Lavie / June 1, 2012

IKEA promised way back in 1999 in Brussels that it would not use any wood from primeval forests and has been boasting the slogan ‘We Love Wood‘ on its wooden products ever since. However, as it turns out, IKEA’s wood is not always so ecological, responsible or sustainable. A report published by Swedish and Russian environmental organizations show that IKEA’s wood also comes from harvesting primeval forests in Karelia in North Russia. Swedish state television also covered IKEA’s walk of…

Marketing blunder or clever marketing ploy?

By Dan Lavie / April 9, 2011

The upcoming Royal Wedding is a marketer’s dream promoting memorabilia ranging from tea towels to tea bags. There are obviously no limits to products that can be given a Royal Wedding twist. Verdict, part of the Datamonitor Group, predicts that wedding merchandise sales could “easily” top £26m in the UK alone, with food and grocery retailers raking in £360m, while an additional £216m could come from travel and tourism. There is one item that stood out – a commemorative royal…

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