A thief called “沪上阿飞”(Shanghai hooligan) got popular during May Day holidays. He claimed to stealing dozens of cell phones and showed his trophies off on weibo (most popular SNS in China) and it got a lot of attention and criticism.

Meanwhile, some people began to doubt that it was an event-marketing from some company because one brand appear many times in his posts. Three days later, policeman started investigation on this case and discovered the company who made this campaign. The manager Lin was taken away for making all this case up. The reputation of both the brand and Lin’s company is destroyed without question.For example,


(translation: this event marketing is terrible!)


(translation: what a failure case! it should top the list of the failure case!)

Here in this case, the biggest mistake Lin made is against one of the three basics in event marketing: create a positive and persuasive advertising. On the contrary, he created an event criticized by everyone. What makes it even worse is he did good job on the other two basics: publicizing the event and motivate the crowd.


Let’s talk about what mistakes are usually made in event marketing?

1. Negative advertising

This case already shows the effect of the this problems well. However, this mistake has made by many companies in China such as Haidilao buzz.

2. Low popularity

In fact, Lin did a good job in attracting audience. However, many marketers have met up with the problem: why my event can not get popular? What they should do is to do everything possible to generate the right audience. The audience is the top priority of any event. It’s relatively easier to get an audience, but attracting the right audience is more different. Relying on show producers alone is fine, but the purpose is to let them deliver message to as many people as possible to all sponsors and exhibitors. Here’s three solutions to that:

  • Use internal lists, alliances and business partners, purchased or rented media lists, social media, etc.
  • Promote the event by communicating compelling reasons for your target audience to attend.
  • Talk about those things which will activate their triggers and eliminate their inhibitors.

3. Vague objectives

Everybody knows it’s important to create experiences designed to meet his objectives. However, setting objectives is the easy part, doing the right things to accomplish them is another.

Last year, a virtual girl created by a marketing agency in China made a hit overnight. The company packaged her as a young rich girl who likes to show off her personal life.

If the event is to bring out a girl, it is a successful case. However, the objective of this event is to promote a online game.

This chart shows the people’s attention on the game (green line) does not rise with the event(orange line). As a result, although it’s a well-known event, the objective is missed.