Marketing Fail: Forgetting to Set Campaign End Dates

Written by: Chenell Basilio

A monumental Super Bowl 50 took place in February – congrats to the Broncos and Peyton Manning!

The Super Bowl is a great time for restaurants to make some extra cash selling buffalo wings and other great finger foods because it’s hard to find a party for the game that doesn’t have some great snacks and beer on hand.

While people in your area are searching for a place to get their Game Day snacks, it’s a lost opportunity if you don’t put your company in the spotlight and try to drum up business.

So it’s no surprise that many companies spent a lot of money preparing for the big game and offering specials to their customers. Using Google Ads can be a great way to grab some new customers and even make some sales online.

As this week’s #MarketingFail will teach us: when you put up ads for big occasions like this, don’t forget to take them down when it’s over.

No Wings For You

A few days after the game, I was browsing the internet just looking to see what kind of buffalo wing options were in my area (Philadelphia, PA).

Naturally, I headed over to Google and searched for “buffalo wings.”

Here are the results I ended up with:

buffalo wings search google adwords

A little clarification: this search was done on Thursday, February 11th4 full days after the Super Bowl. (I confirmed this is still active of April 18th<–This is more than 2 full months after the Super Bowl is over!)

Of course I was intrigued that there was still an ad that was telling me to pre-order my wings. My curiosity led me to click on the ad.

I ended up here:

cavanaughs head house google ad


I’m sure this was a great form that really helped people accomplish their goal of placing an order for wings for the game. However, on this day, I’m really glad I didn’t want to place an order for wings!

This company could have pulled the ad and redirected this page to a form that did work, or at least leave the form up in case anyone found it and really wanted to order wings for another occasion.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned when dealing with websites and digital marketing, it’s that people bookmark pages you would never expect them to.

Even if you do take the ad down as soon as half-time is over, someone is going to find the page – it just happens.

In this case, I found it through an ad that was quite dated, but nonetheless, someone had the idea to take down the form yet must have forgotten all of the ways they were actually getting people to this page.

This happens all the time!

How to Avoid This

If you are going to run timely ads like this, there are a few ways you can make sure this doesn’t happen to you:

  1. Set up automatic end dates for your new campaign so you don’t even have to worry about it.
  2. Set a calendar reminder to take the ads down once the occasion passes, or to make sure your automated setting actually worked.

Don’t let this scare you away from running ads that are relevant to upcoming events happening on the main stage. It’s actually a huge miss if you don’t put your business out there.

Definitely take advantage of national events like this one, just be sure you’re not wasting money after it’s over by continuing to run the campaign after it has ended. #MarketingFail

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