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Everyone makes mistakes, that is what people say, but in reality, that is what people do. People make mistakes. Sometimes when important people make mistakes, it can cause a plethora of problems, especially if the mistake affects a whole lot of people. For example, in 1909, the Titanic ship crew made the mistake of ignoring iceberg warnings and kept sailing, causing the ship to crash and over 1,500 people died.

But not all mistakes are fatal. Some mistakes might make for good marketing.

2017 Oscar Mistake a Marketing Stunt

Sunday night’s Oscars featured not only a musical performance by Justin Timberlake and celebrities in glamorous gowns, but one major oops.

Warren Beatty and Fawn Dunaway were announcing the Oscar for Best Picture, and apparently due to an envelope mishap, they announced the winner as “La La Land,” when in reality, the deserving winning movie was “Moonlight.”

In a recent article by Fox Business news, Rob Frankel, branding strategist at Frankel & Anderson, says, “This was clearly a planned event, not an accident.”

Frankel adds “You’ll see lots of memes now, along with late night comedy monologues, and everyone will get his 15 minutes of media hype.”

With social media, news, and every internet page taking interest in the major Oscar blunder, there is certainly expanding interest in this year’s Oscar award ceremony. So was it a simple mistake of an envelope switch-up or could it have been a planned marketing maneuver?

In 2015, 37.3 million total viewers tuned in to watch the Oscars. According to ABC, who hosts the annual award showcase, 2015 viewer numbers were the lowest since 2009. But then in 2016, numbers dropped even lower with 34.3 million total viewers.

We will have to wait until next year and audience viewing turnout to see if the mistake proves to be a marketing opportunity for ABC and the Oscars.

Turn Mistakes into Marketing Opportunities

Whether or not the wrongly-announced Best Picture Oscar was a mistake or not, there is an important takeaway from the experience. Do not let mistakes ruin you, your company, your business, or anything else. Mistakes can provide opportunities for marketing experiences.

When mistakes happen, ramp up your customer service response. Give people a reason to come back after a mistake. When 17 million Target customers were victimized in the 2013 security breach, the company reached out to customers with free identity protection services, settlement fees, and even a few days of discount days where total purchases were 10% as a fraud apology. Despite the mistake, Target has no problem bringing in customers.

Effective responses and quality customer service can provide a great opportunity for customers and clients to see the best of your organization. So when mistakes happen, make the effort to turn them into marketing opportunities. Pump up you your SMS chatbots and every other AI chatbot with apologetic tones to respond to your customers as they message in their concerns. Consider texting or messaging everyone you can to let them know that mistakes happen but that your company is doing everything it can to rectify the mistake.  

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