Flaming Goodbye

Hail & Fail

#3 9th March 2017

How can you make bad news into good news for your business? Do you want to avoid getting your email campaigns off on the wrong foot by following this one easy tip?


Burger King’s Flame Grilled Burgers

This is from the classic show don’t tell school of marketing and works brilliantly. Instead of telling us their burgers are flame grilled, Burger King show us, demonstrating with real proof in the form of restaurants that have burnt down.

Using what could be deemed as ‘failures’ to promote a brand could be a risky strategy and there’s no doubt that Burger King will have considered this strategy long and hard; perhaps even drafting in some lawyers.

This print advertising campaign from North America is an example of how you can turn a negative into a positive. After all, what says authentic flame grilled burgers better than pictures of restaurants fully ablaze?

Marketing Actions

We could consider using a negative story about our brand and turning it around to show that when things don’t go completely to plan, our customer service is spot on. A negative story doesn’t need to be hurtful and it doesn’t need to be made public. Perhaps we can use it to improve our internal procedures?

Clearly we need to make sure that the negative story isn’t something that would result in a damaged reputation if we were to use it as part of a public marketing campaign. A large organisation like Burger King would find it easier to create shocking adverts such as the one discussed here without loss of reputation. But for the every day business, this isn’t always the best course of action.

The important thing to take from this is that seemingly negative feedback or events don’t have to hold your business back. If a customer claims they didn’t get the product they wanted, the first thing you need to do is make sure you understand why they had a problem and resolve it as quickly as possible.

  • Always look or ways to turn negatives into positives
  • Use negatives as an opportunity to improve internally

Turning a negative situation into a positive one doesn’t always mean taking a disaster and distributing pictures of it around the web. It can just as easily be a customer service situation that you’ve been able to solve. How about making a case study to show how businesses can deliver better customer service?


Have you been on the receiving end of poor customer service? If so, what happened and how was it resolved, if at all? Have you ever managed to turn a negative into a positive with your business? How did it go?

Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter using the hashtag #HailnFail and our Twitter handle @MoreThanVenice <–click to tweet. Or join the conversation on the Hail & Fail Facebook page.