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Six Marketing Techniques That Always Backfire

Updated on February 23, 2018

Companies spend millions on marketing every year. They hire companies to target consumers and they put their message out in multiple ways. Sometimes though, they go a little bit overboard and infringe into your personal space or irk you with their aggressiveness.

Here are some techniques that most people find pretty annoying.

The Same Commercial Twice in One TV Break

You're watching you favorite show and there is a commercial break. A company will lead off the break with their commercial, then there will be a different one, followed by the very same commercial again.

When that happens, I secretly vow never to buy a single product from that company. Talk about annoying. We get it, you think you have a good product. Let someone else have a chance to market to us. Why do you have to hog the subliminal messaging?

The Company That Sends Unsolicited E-Mails

Yes, I own an AOL e-mail account. No that does not mean that I want your company to send me unsolicited e-mails. One company was so annoying that the second I sent an e-mail from them to my spam folder, a different one showed up in my just cleared inbox. Congratulations GlobalLife, you're dead to me now.

On any given day, fifteen different companies send spammy e-mails to my AOL account. Do you not realize that I only look forward to the solicitations from Africa that assure me that I have inherited millions of dollars to that account?


The Company That Sends You Unsolicited Snail Mail

If your company is so environmentally unfriendly that you actually send me mail to my home, that's another strike against you. It's a double faux-pas when you don't include your company name where the return address goes. Not only do you not care about the environment, but you're shady. Who trusts someone who is shady with their product? That's a no-brainer and it's shocking that companies think this works.

Plus, by trying to get me to open your mail, I now don't open any mail. So when things like traffic tickets show up and they happen infrequently, they get moved into my spam pile and lead to a suspended license. I blame you insurance industry for this. At least DirectTV has the balls to let you know the mail is from them.

The Company That Puts a Flyer on Your Car

You know the ones I'm talking about here. You come out of the show or the store and someone has left their flyer between your windshield wiper and your windshield. Again with the environmentally unfriendliness.

To me, there's a special place in hell reserved for these people. They have to know that a majority of people are just going to drop this flyer on the ground. Most people believe that that flyer is merely a piece of trash that some moron left on their car. If anything, your company is selling anger. Pure, unadulterated anger.

The Company (or Political Candidate) That Calls You at Home

Whether it's a land line or a cell phone, it doesn't matter. When you call a person's home soliciting for a product or a vote, it is such an intrusion into private space that it's offensive.

First off, the thing we're wondering is how did you get my number? We don't even hear anything else because we're wondering who we recently gave our number to that you would have gotten it from. Because those people are joining you on our dead list.

And if you're a political candidate, we're making it a point to vote for the other guy. So if you want our vote, have your PAC misrepresent themselves when they call and say they are the opponent.

The Company That Stuffs a Flyer in Your Hand as You're Walking and Talking to Friends

You know the ones, you're walking along the road or in the mall and some marketing rep reaches into your conversation with their marketing flyer. Why are you wrecking my flow? I finally have an original thought and you blow it up? Not cool $8 an hour guy, not cool.

In Conclusion - The Acceptable Forms

If you're like me, you expect to see some marketing out there. Billboards can be great, they are a welcome diversion on the road when done well. Single break commercials - again, entertain us, we accept that they are there when done in moderation. Advertisements in local newspapers are totally cool. Even text boxes on websites are fine. We know you're tracking our every move online like you're the NSA. That doesn't mean we're going to click it, but we accept that kind of targeting.

Those companies that don't think of the environment, infringe on my privacy at home, or deface my property in trying to get their message out will not go over well at all. Companies, please learn this and do better.

What type of advertising irks you the most?

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    • pagesvoice profile image

      Dennis L. Page 

      4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

      As soon as we hear Sarah McLaughlin singing, "In the Arms of an Angel" we change the channel. Like your mom, my wife and I can't watch the animal cruelty ads either.

    • Valeant profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      Oh, good one pages...I might have to add those in. Reminds me, my mom hates those animal cruelty ones too.

    • pagesvoice profile image

      Dennis L. Page 

      4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

      I am repulsed by the graphic anti-smoking ads on TV. They don't stop with the barrage and seem to run just before the end of a program to "hook" the viewer into watching for fear they will miss the end of the show they were viewing.

    • peachpurple profile image


      4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      true, i hate snail mails and spamming mails, kept my inbox fulled with garbage

    • travmaj profile image


      4 years ago from australia

      You covered these 'anti Marketing techniques' with passion that most of us can identify with. My pet hate is the evening phone call - invariably they have a poll or a questionnaire - so annoying and yes, an invasion of privacy.

    • Popit profile image

      Kathryn Leyland-Jones 

      4 years ago from Brittany

      Brilliant, made me laugh out loud, I'll follow you any day. (And I promise not to send you any unsolicited emails :)

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      4 years ago from Oklahoma

      On top of being annoying, so much of it is also wasteful, like snail mail and its use of resources.

      Wonderful hub!


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