Back in the early 80's there was a weight loss candy whose marketing and advertising became an accidental disaster.
The brand was called Ayds—and much of its marketing material went from innocent to wildly inappropriate in a matter of moments.
You see, the candy was already on the market when the AIDS epidemic tragically struck. Suddenly every actor in their commercials sounded like the worst human being ever.
Ayds Candy Commercials www.youtube.com
Ayds candy became a casualty of the AIDS epidemic, but there's no way that kind of terrible luck could strike twice, right?
Wrong. It took four decades, but it finally happened again.
Weight Watchers might have accidentally taken credit for starting World War III.
The flub started two years ago, actually, when Weight Watchers decided to rebrand itself as WW. This Thursday they launched a social media campaign encouraging the hashtag "#ThisIsMyWW."
The hashtag was meant to encourage users to share their experiences with the customizations Weight Watchers/WW program. Sounds straightforward enough.
While Weight Watchers/WW was launching their new marketing campaign, the US government was busy launching something else—namely an incredibly controversial airstrike. The airstrike ended the life of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. Many are convinced this political assassination might trigger the start of a third world war.
People took to social media to talk about the airstrike and, as tends to happen, a trend emerged. Hashtags like #WWIII, #WW3, #WWThree, and #NotMyWW began to pick up steam.
That meant that as far as most of the world was concerned, WW stood for "world war" not "weight watchers."
Um ... well ... this is awkward.
Weight Watchers probably regretting their promoted hashtag tonight https://t.co/9QNNYdFETh— Chelsea Fagan (@Chelsea Fagan)1578022262.0
The kind of awkward that Twitter finds delicious.
@Chelsea_Fagan I'm a big fan of Weight Watchers WWIII program - which I think means breakfast, lunch and napalm.— Courtney Theriault (@Courtney Theriault)1578032489.0
@TheGingerarchy Strange twist, Weight Watchers International takes credit for the attack— 🦅Crypto Horse🦅 (@🦅Crypto Horse🦅)1578023808.0
@oneunderscore__ “With Weight Watchers, I’m battling the bulge in World War Me.” https://t.co/jckf8DNOlY— frederickm (@frederickm)1578023248.0
Oh my god, the Weight Watchers ad buyears haven’t noticed their promoted hashtag in the context of all the world wa… https://t.co/0oaNoW6ppF— Jacklyn Grace Lacey (@Jacklyn Grace Lacey)1578022813.0
Hey uh weight watchers, maybe this isnt the best time... https://t.co/UXjl0OshBC— 🎮Smugly the E-Bully🍥 (@🎮Smugly the E-Bully🍥)1578023544.0
@nycsouthpaw Weight watchers started a war https://t.co/6zkaEju9Au— 🦅Crypto Horse🦅 (@🦅Crypto Horse🦅)1578027621.0
omg can’t wait for weight watchers 3 😍😍😍🙀 https://t.co/BWTm3CFgQP— politicsisrad (@politicsisrad)1578026157.0
In b4 Weight Watchers realizes how unfortunately ill-timed their marketing campaign is #worldwar3 https://t.co/mJDjy4CLPe— Carolyn Velociraptor (@Carolyn Velociraptor)1578022398.0
Thank you Weight Watchers for sponsoring WWIII. #thisismyWorldWar https://t.co/yHY82nD9pn— Rational Snark (@Rational Snark)1578022707.0
We don't know whether the company is going to drop the hashtag or not. We kind of feel like a little bit of reading the room might go a long way here.