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  • Writer's pictureAdeleine Whitten

The best and worst marketing of May

May usually marks the first cookout of the season and the start of summer vacation. But for marketers, it means trying to think of thirty one different ways to say "here's why our product is great for summertime".

This month, I saw a lot of clever and unique marketing — not all summer -related, thankfully. But I also came across some posts that made me nervously laugh trying to figure out what I was looking at.

So without further ado, here's my collection of the best and worst marketing I saw last month.

The Worst

This poorly-worded email is a great reminder to never skip out on the research portion of copywriting.

And while Ulta later released an apology statement saying the choice of words was not intentional (during Mental Health Awareness Month, no less), one bad email could still permanently damage the reputation of an otherwise positively-favored brand.

The Best

Long text posts on Facebook almost always grab my attention. What did I miss? A controversy? An apology to a controversy? I get irrationally excited.

In this case, Southwest got lucky, as this post won't require a notes app apology. But this post did more than just announce an update to their planes; it painted a picture of why it mattered.

Southwest Airlines not only brought attention to this new advantage to flying with them, but they also made it clear that they listen to and make changes based on customer needs.

The Worst

Halsey recently took to social media to share that their record label won't let them release their new song until they create a viral moment on TikTok.

This is not a unique situation either; many artists have shared similar stories about being required to up their presence on the Gen-Z-dominated social media in order to expand their fanbase — or face the consequences.

However, audiences can smell authenticity from a mile away, and forcing content will never do as much for the label's bank account as letting artists make and release music the fans want to hear.

Let's all shame the label together, shall we?

The Best

And then... there's Ed Sheeran.

Artists like Ed are using the world's knowledge of the labels vs. TikTok situation to their advantage. This low-effort video is technically doing what the label wanted — promoting his new song — without faking moments that feel artificial or forced.

Of course, a better video would've been one he made solely because he wanted to...

The Worst

The Paired app was a fantastic discovery for me, however, this email (that I received in May, mind you) definitely had me worried for half a second.

They did issue a "whoops!" email a few hours later, but I'm sure they had a lot of couples freaking out while they frantically tried to remember what day it was.

That's all for now, but keep an eye out for regular updates to the Hall of Fame and Hall of Shame throughout the month.

See something fame- or shame-worthy? Email your submission for a chance to be featured.

See you next month.

Adeleine Whitten | Professional, kind of

is a marketer by day and writer by night, weekend, and sometimes lunch break. You can often find her with a good book or in the Taco Bell drive-thru.

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