You may remember New Coke, which in 1985 was probably the largest consumer product flop in history. Coke drinkers passionately clung to their Classic cans, and Coke regained the market share with re-issued Classic Coke it had designed the new product to capture.
Then there was Michael Jackson (may he rest in peace), who went to court for sleeping with young boys, dangled a child over a balcony, yet sold more records than any of his contemporaries.
And, for crying out loud, Kim Kardashian, who fights with her sisters and makes poor choices in men is wildly successful.
Jonah Berger of the Wharton School maintains that in pop culture at least, any publicity is good publicity. As long as your brand is top of mind, people are going to purchase it – even if the only association consumers have with is negative, they still remember it.
So the next time you make a marketing mistake, have no fear. As long as it’s memorable.