The Biggest Facepalm Moments of 2017
Is it too much to ask to do a little better?
1. Adidas congratulates runners who “survived” the Boston Marathon.
2. The Chainsmokers misspell “Pittsburgh” in a concert sign.
3. Nivia ad campaign says “White is purity.”
4. The Oscars Best Picture mix up.
5. Zara uses skinny models for a “curvy” campaign.
6. A Gorillaz tech set his password to “2017.”
7. Wheel of Fortune contestant guesses the wrong letter.
8. Ads run congratulating Republican leaders on now-aborted healthcare plan.
9. Jewelry company puts up billboard that read, “It’s OK to throw rocks at girls.”
We’ve all been there -- the moment where your palm hits your face with regret. But once it’s done, it’s done and the damage could be hard to repair.
Easily one of the biggest facepalms of the year occurred at the Oscars, when the wrong movie was announced for Best Picture. A tech for Gorillaz also had an oops moment when he set his password as “2017,” leading to Reddit users leaking the band's new music. Or there's Zara advertising its new denim for “curvy” women using rail-thin models.
Related: Biggest Social Media Fails of 2017
Sure, these things happen, and they will continue to, but is it too much to ask to try a little harder? Check out some of 2017’s most memorable facepalm moments.
As a brand, it’s important to double, triple and even quadruple check any content that you’re putting out. Especially if you’re a big brand such as Adidas.
Unfortunately, that’s not what happened with a recent Adidas message. After the Boston Marathon, the company sent out an email to many of the runners who participated. But rather than congratulating them for finishing the 26-mile race, the company decided to applaud them for “surviving” the race. The subject line of the email read: “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!”
Had this been any other sporting event, responses may have been different. But in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, people were not happy.
The company publicly apologized for its “insensitive” email.
Misspelling a word is easy -- and it’s the reason why we have spell check. Unfortunately, stage designers for a Chainsmokers concert didn’t do their due diligence.
During a sold-out show in Pittsburgh, the musical duo ended the show with a banner behind them that read “Pittsburg.” The musicians later apologized in a tweet for the spelling error, but have since deleted the post and any evidence of the mistake.
Of course, thanks to the internet -- nothing is really ever gone forever.
1 easy way to make Pittsburgh hate the Chainsmokers, forever. pic.twitter.com/WMxFejBc2l— Ashley (@shDell18) April 23, 2017
During a time of political discord in the U.S., with fake news and a rise in white extremist groups, you’d think brands would be especially cautious about the content they put on the internet.
Of course, some still don’t. Skin care company Nivea launched an ad campaign with the slogan “White is purity” -- and people were, unsurprisingly, not happy. In an attempt to promote its Invisible for Black and White deodorant, the ad was posted on Nivea’s Middle East Facebook page and showed an image of a woman with dark hair, dressed in white and sitting in a brightly lit room, with the words “White is purity” written over the picture.
The post stirred quite the commotion online, as people expressed their anger and disappointment over the ad, calling Nivea “racist” and “insensitive.” And to make matters worse, many right wing groups shared the spot.
The company pulled the ad and publicly apologized: “We are deeply sorry to anyone who may take offense to this specific post. Diversity and equal opportunity are crucial values of Nivea.”
This early flop might be the most memorable of the year. But it wasn’t just that the entire cast of La La Land went onstage to accept Moonlight’s Best Picture award, but everything else around the debacle.
When Warren Beatty opened the envelope, paused and handed it off to Faye Dunaway, who without hesitation announced La La Land, we knew something was up. But the cameras kept rolling, the cast came onstage and the film director and executives began their acceptance speeches.
From the viewer’s standpoint, there’s clear confusion in the background as an Oscars employee gathers the red envelopes and on stage it's revealed that Moonlight is the true winner of Best Picture.
“There’s a mistake. Moonlight won Best Picture,” La La Land’s producer Jordan Horowitz said. “This is not a joke.”
Turns out, Beatty was given the wrong envelope -- which read “Emma Stone” for “Best Actress” -- because the Price Waterhouse Cooper accountant responsible for handing out the correct envelopes was too busy tweeting backstage. Still, this whole kerfuffle could have been avoided had it not been for several little mistakes.
Sure, advertising is known for exaggerating the truth, but Zara’s “curvy” campaign didn’t so much exaggerate as it did confuse.
Debuting its new denim line for “curvy” women, the brand’s ad features two thin models standing side by side and looking back at the camera with the copy reading “Love Your Curves.” While the new line was supposed to be inclusive of all body types, people were upset with the advertising and its inherent irony.
You have got to be shitting me, Zara. pic.twitter.com/tiOsJv5AVy— Muireann O'Connell (@MuireannO_C) February 28, 2017
I assume Zara is doing irony. pic.twitter.com/8BAomw5Yy8— Just John (@emptyjamjar) February 28, 2017
With all of the hacks today, you’d think people would be pretty cautious about their passwords. Unfortunately, that’s still not the case.
Before its official release, fans found a way to break into a Vimeo account related to the band “Gorillaz” and leak some of its new songs.
After a few song titles emerged online, registered with Phonographic Performance Ltd., Reddit users began Googling titles. One Reddit user, omegapro200, discovered the leaked track “Saturnz Barz” on the private Vimeo page of Gorillaz lighting technician Dylan Byrne. Another Reddit user, mrmoosechill, attempted to get into the Vimeo account, trying out different passwords and ultimately hitting the jackpot when he guessed “2017.”
Can we really call this hacking when the password was so easy to guess?
We’ve seen plenty of disastrous fails on game shows such as Wheel of Fortune -- but this one might top the list.
On a March episode of Wheel of Fortune, a contestant was one letter away from victory. When guessing the last letter of Tennessee Williams’s famous Pulitzer Prize-winning play, A Streetcar Named Desire, the contestant guessed “K” instead of “M” in the word “NA_ED.”
OMG this just Happened. ??? pic.twitter.com/Q0CYxM8jJB— ?Mike? (@MBragiel) March 21, 2017
The stupid mistake shook up the social media world, many viewers taking to Twitter to express their reactions to the contestant’s facepalm moment.
Dude on Wheel of Fortune had to solve this:— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) March 21, 2017
A STREETCAR NA_ED DESIRE
He asked for a K.
I’m gonna go lie down.
A guy missed this on Wheel of Fortune: A Streetcar Na_ed Desire. He said it was A Streetcar Naked Desire pic.twitter.com/0MI8D4OSlY— Yankee Man (@MyBoyJeter) March 22, 2017
Some Republicans were a little too confident in their new healthcare reform bill that would have replaced the Affordable Care Act. In fact, one group got its commercials bragging about its passage ready to go.
Yet to their surprise, the bill did not pass … but the commercials aired. During March Madness games Friday night, viewers were exposed to a spot celebrating the would-be reform.
Led by the right-leaning American Action Network, the ads thanked some of the political figures involved in the failed healthcare plan for their "promise and replacing the Affordable Care Act with a better health care you deserve."
This Asheville, N.C.-based jewelry store took puns a little too far.
On a billboard off highway I-240 near downtown Asheville, Spicer Greene Jewelers paid for a billboard which featured gems in a variety of colors. Sounds nice, right? Read on.
Over the image is text that reads: “Sometimes, it’s OK to throw rocks at girls...”
The billboard caused upset in the town, as well as backlash on social media.
In response, the company apologized for its poor advertising choices on its Facebook page.
Spicer Greene Jewelers says it plans to change the billboard soon with another campaign, and has also vowed to donate 10 percent of its sales from the week of the incident to a local domestic violence shelter, it told local news network WLOS.