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Top 5 Scariest Digital Marketing Mistakes (Videos)

In honour of the spookiest night of the year, our superstar Social Media Intern Caitlin has been taking a look at the top 5 scariest brand video fails.

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In honour of the spookiest night of the year, our superstar Social Media Intern Caitlin has been taking a look at the top 5 scariest brand videos, and why she thinks they failed.

European Commission

This, quite frankly, terrifying video was published by the European Commission in 2012 (although you’d be forgiven for thinking it was 1912). The aim behind the video was to encourage more women to consider careers in the science field. The result? Embarrassing gender stereotypes that didn’t do women or the European Commission any favours.



On first viewing this video isn’t so bad. Little cheesy, but nothing too scary. However some eagle eyed viewers noticed that this video was filmed using a professional camera (you can see in the reflection of a van) Um what’s wrong with that you may ask…well the whole aim of the video is to show how powerful the video camera on the Nokia Lumia 920 is. Bit awkward when the brand don’t have enough faith in the product to actually use it.


First of all, well done to you if you managed to make it to the end of this video. For shame Ashton Kutcher. Popchips were forced to pull the advert due to complaints (and rightly so) that it was promoting racial stereotypes. I’m not sure what else to say, it’s just an all-round dire brand video. Better luck next time Popchips.



The fact that you have to verify your age on YouTube before viewing this video by PETA, is the first warning sign that it might be a little scary. This advert, intended to be viewed in good humour, comes across all wrong. The hook of the video is that after changing to a vegan diet, this young woman’s boyfriend has more of an appetite for certain recreational activities. The neck brace, the limp, the pained expression…it’s no wonder this video caused uproar amongst charities for domestic violence victims. It still remains on PETA’s YouTube channel.



This video, first published in 2008 on social media, is all over the place. Is it an advert for one of those weird baby carriers? One of those god awful “mommy” websites? No… it’s for a brand of ibuprofen. This video comes across as if Motrin had no idea where they were going with it, and as a result neither do we.

Are there any other brand videos you think were particularly terrifying?

Trick or Tweet us @ThisIsParachute and let us know!

Happy Halloween!

About the Author

Caitlin Linskey is our terrifyingly prolific social media intern, and according to Twitter, she’ll be dressing up as Wayne Campbell from Wayne’s World this Halloween. We’ll try and source some photos…

Follow Caitlin on Twitter

photo credit: madlyinlovewithlife via photopin cc

Written By Ashley Smith

Ashley Smith

Ashley is our Client Service Executive, working to deliver top drawer content marketing and social media campaigns for our clients.

Article Comments

  • Simon Jones

    Interesting… I run a pub quiz questions website and business ( and often creative block can be a problem. My solution is to do two things in tandem, a primary and secondary task, and when creative block occurs with the primary I move onto the secondary task and switch back after a while… this seems to always work. The hours can disappear when staring at a computer screen waiting for inspiration and that’s not good for any business.

  • Carlit

    Interesting article. The combination of both the techniques is truly the best strategy. The proof of traditional marketing still being important can be easily seen here :