Top 10 Worst Packaging Mistakes
As much as we all love our favorite brands, most of them have made some pretty big packaging faux paus at some point in the brands’ lifetimes. Whether the errors were religious, sexist, or just downright rude, some packaging ideas took things a bit too far. Here, we have compiled the top 10 worst packaging mistakes for your viewing pleasure.
Starbucks’ Christmas Cups
Last year, Starbucks was under fire for arguably one of its own worst packaging mistakes in company history. Starbucks removed any hint of Christmas or holiday packaging from its disposable cups. This change to the usually festive holiday cups came after Starbucks was previously criticized for favoring Christmas over other winter religious holidays.
Dr. Pepper, a beloved soda to most, enjoyed frequently at dinners and BBQ’s, was called out for one of the worst packaging mistakes ever because of how flagrantly sexist it was. Dr. Pepper released a 10-calorie version of Diet Dr. Pepper, and claimed that this 10-calorie version was “not for women.” The goal of the campaign was to reach the male audience, which consistently does not drink diet sodas, but the campaign backfired.
Bud Light released a campaign in the spring of 2015 that encouraged consumers to “Remove ‘No’ from your vocabulary for the night.” The thought was to prompt consumers to be more adventurous, but sexual assault and human rights groups quickly reminded Bud Light of the double entendre.
Thinx, a relatively new brand of underwear designed for women who are experiencing a period, used a peeled clementine on its packaging to resemble female genitalia. Some felt that this was one of the worst packaging mistakes as comparing a fruit to female body parts seemed insensitive and too bold.
Gucci has often been in the press for promoting what many would consider to be among the worst packaging mistakes in the fashion industry. The ad for the perfume “Gucci Guilty” shows a man and a woman seductively posing, suggesting that one or both of them is cheating on a significant other.
Hacienda began to brand its packaging with the catchphrase, “We’re like a cult with better Kool-Aid.” Yikes. This references a horrific mass suicide that occurred in a cult less than 100 years ago. The packaging was quickly recalled.
Reebok unwisely branded all of its boxes and bags with the slogan, “Cheat on your girlfriend, not on your workout,” a few years ago, one of the worst packaging mistakes ever. Sexist, rude, and immoral, this ad was quickly pulled.
Sprite launched a campaign a few years ago that branded all of its bottles with “#BrutallyRefreshing.” The idea was to tweet out an honest statement that would be refreshing to hear, instead of any sugar-coated, politically correct banter. However, the campaign quickly got out of hand with rude captions and tags associated with the hashtag. The bottles branded with #BrutallyRefreshing were discontinued.
Although this one is more of an ad mistake than one of the worst packaging mistakes, PopChips released a string of racially-charged ads, putting skin-tanner on Ashton Kutcher and having him act as a native of India, saying the catchphrase, “These chips are ‘Bombay.’” Not cool.
Happy Ending Beer
Happy Ending Beer is one of the worst packaging mistakes because, well, the name says it all. The beer bottle also features a caricature of an Asian woman, winking suggestively. We think we’ll pass on this one.
What are some of the worst packaging mistakes you have come across? Tell us about them in the comments!