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How to kill your business in 4 easy steps

Ever wondered how to destroy your business with bad advertising? Read this article to find out how lazy cynicism leads to a reduced share of mind.
A cacophony of garish, multi-coloured advertisements, traffic and pedestrians in Times Square, Manhattan

So, if you really want to emulate Pepsi’s attempts to destroy public favour, just follow these 4 steps.

Step One: Don’t think deeply about your message

There’s absolutely no need to question your assumptions about how your message will be received. Most people are stupid, so just reference things you assume they like, and they’ll buy whatever you’re selling.

Step Two: Don’t hire people who understand the narrative you’re selling

The biggest secret in the advertising industry is you don’t need to hire diverse people to sell a diverse message. Don’t ever question your perspective. Whatever you think is the right way to go, it is definitely the right way to go.

Step Three: Blatantly exploit a social issue to sell, sell, sell!

Social issues change over time, but you can bet there will always be a few to exploit.

If you want to destroy your brand’s image as quickly as possible, use an important cultural or social issue that has absolutely nothing to do with your product. Then, shoehorn your product into the message in whatever way feels least appropriate.

Step Four: Stick to your beliefs even in the face of opposition from your customers

The moment you receive backlash about your ill-advised media, tell your customers they just don’t get it. They’re the ones with counter-productive views, not you. Pepsi’s response to the backlash against their infamous ad is a great starting point:

‘This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony, and we think that’s an important message to convey.’ [1]

That’s it – a complete guide to destroying your brand’s image in fewer than 300 words.


Tillman, L., n.d. Case Study: PepsiCo & Kendall Jenner’s Controversial Commercial. [online] astute. Available at: Astute [Accessed 5 September 2021].

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