Kendall Jenner

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Melissa Ward is the managing editor for Target Marketing, and she has opinions! More importantly, she's a nerd for great copy and design, a disciple of authenticity, and really loves it when marketers get it right.

PepsiCo isn’t actually marketing “Lady Doritos,” which were rumored to have less crunch and leave less detritus on fingers — because the CEO believes women don’t like to crunch food or lick their fingers in public. Yet the company did create the buzz about the nonexistent product that’s causing ire on social media.

Mistakes, much like a table saw missing its guard, are powerful teaching tools. And while some people quietly enjoy a taste of schadenfreude when all hell breaks loose for a major company or an A-lister in the spotlight, there usually is a teachable moment or two amid the chaos, as well. Let's look at the top screw-ups covered from the “What Were They Thinking” desk, and delve into the lessons all marketers can benefit from.

All inspiring marketing rests on a powerful, catalyzing insight. Most marketing misfires stem from a miscue masquerading as an insight. As the starting point for any innovation, communication or experience effort, nothing is more foundationally critical than a sound insight for staying on-target as work progresses.

Leave it to members of the Kardashian-Jenner family to be in the news again for self-promotional antics. In this episode of "What Were They Thinking?" Melissa shares what she really thinks about Kendall and Kylie Jenner's "vintage" T-shirts that rip off photos of rock and rap icons, and reminds marketers what happens when brands and likenesses are appropriated.

Days after Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner “protest” ad went flat, a brand marketing leader from Cadillac said she wouldn’t take a chance on making the much-lauded #DareGreatly commercials now, because they would seem tone-deaf.

There are some brands that need a serious timeout before they should be allowed to create new marketing campaigns. In this episode of "What Were They Thinking?" Melissa finally tackles the issue of Pepsi's short-lived, tone deaf commercial starring Kendall Jenner, then lightens things up — hey, it's Friday! — by sharing the story of #NuggsforCarter.

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