Are mistakes on social media or in Marketing in general intentional and just a campaign to generate buzz and more exposure, or they are really mistakes that are fixed perfectly which leads to huge media coverage? 

Sometimes it’s difficult to tell them apart, at first it was obvious that the mistake is genuine and unintentional, but nowadays even the audience can feel the Marketing Stunt and ploy.  

IKEA Bahrain: A Mistake or a Marketing Stunt?

Recently the Social Media was only talking about IKEA Bahrain, due to a picture of their banner. The company launched a campaign for its mattresses and put a large banner on the storefront. The banner had English and Arabic slogans. The English sentence read “Create your perfect night’s sleep”, meanwhile the Arabic one was “The same text, but in Arabic”

People on Social Media were divided into two categories, some thought it was an intentional mistake to get attention, and some believed that it was indeed a mistake.

The first category believed that it’s a mistake, and maybe the manager was asking a team member to translate the sentence, but the person sent it to printing without reading it. And the second category believes that it’s a Marketing Stunt to make people talk about them, and generate more awareness about the Mattresses and also the brand. In all cases, the post went viral instantly.

Ikea quickly fixed the mistake, but they didn’t change the banner, they inserted another sentence in Arabic saying “This is what happens when we don’t get a good night’s sleep. Enjoy your sleep”. Meaning that you can’t have a good sleep unless you have a mattress from Ikea. 

Ikea Bahrain
Ikea Bahrain

Nowadays when brands make fun of themselves they get praise, and it became common. 

Ikea’s answer got praise, and got them more media coverage, they were praised for handling the situation well, and some even said it was a clever response.

Ikea Bahrain Vs McDonald’s 

Ikea’s answer or reaction wasn’t new, it was a duplicate from Mcdonald’s answer in 2017 during the Black Friday. In 2017, McDonald’s corporate account tweeted an unfinished tweet about Black Friday. The tweet had only “Black Friday” followed by Need copy and link”. It was surely a reminder for the social media employee to include the promo content before scheduling the tweet. But he forgot to include the special offer in the tweet.

What was Mcdonald’s answer? They tweeted: “When you tweet before your first cup of McCafé … Nothing comes before coffee”

Ikea’s answer was surely similar to Mcdonald’s and we can go further and say they are both similar to Snickers’s famous campaign, you are not you when you are hungry, here we can say that you are not you when you don’t use our product. 

Whether it was a mistake or not (even if it’s hard to believe that a company as big as Ikea doesn’t have editing and reviewing process), Ikea got what it wanted. It wanted people to talk about it on social media. 

This kind of Marketing stunt can surely get you a lot of exposure, it can make your brand go viral, but is it always beneficial? Or can it have a negative result? 

Sometimes your audience can see the mistake and not see your answer, what would you win in this case? Many people won’t search for your answer, they only remember the mistake. 

Some of your audience can be disturbed by the mistake, and it can make them see you as a nonprofessional and lead them to unfollow you, and when you correct the mistake they may not see it since they don’t follow you. For Ikea, it was funny, but if your business targets a specific audience who doesn’t tolerate Marketing Stunts, don’t try to do it. 

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