Author Archives: Mustang Marketing

Scary Stories of Marketing Mishaps

Halloween is a time for sharing bone-chilling tales. But, for marketers, these stories are not comprised of ghosts, skeletons and murderous monsters. Instead, horror comes in the form of unfortunate international translations, missed typos and seemingly innocent campaigns with unforeseen consequences.

On the bright side, these terrifying marketing mistakes usually turn out to be pretty entertaining for the rest of us. Here are just a few of our favorites:

Lost in Translation

Sometimes a tagline that is perfect in one language looses its appeal when translated to another. For instance, when the American Dairy Association brought its famous “Got Milk?” campaign outside of the U.S., the company accidentally asked countless Spanish-speaking consumers, “Are you lactating?”

And, when KFC’s slogan “Finger lickin’ good,” was translated into Chinese, it became the slightly more unpleasant phrase “eat your fingers off.”



When Common Sense Goes Out the Door

Even the most innocent names and slogans can go awry when they’re placed in the wrong location. And, something as simple as opening a door can change everything.

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A Tasty Typo

Typos happen to the best of us, but what happens when your typo is on giant billboard for all to see? Well, especially if you’re a brewing company, we may begin to wonder if you’ve been enjoying too much of your own product.

Billboard error


A Little Too Honest

 In general, honesty is a good thing, and marketers sometimes earn a bad rap for putting a spin on the truth. But, it might be possible to take honesty just a step too far…

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False Promises

 If you don’t want to risk the perils of excess honesty, you could always try blatantly contradicting yourself — after all, the results are just as comical!

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Thousand Oaks Just Keeps Getting Better

For the past several months, Mustang has had the pleasure of providing public outreach and communications support as the City of Thousand Oaks prepares to begin the new Westlake Boulevard Sidewalk Project. Set to break ground in fall of 2016, this exciting project aims to improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists with the installation of new sidewalks along two busy stretches of Westlake Boulevard.

Of course, this project will impact the Thousand Oaks community — and Mustang and the city are doing everything possible to ensure the public has the information they need and the opportunity for their voices to be heard.

After many smaller meetings with commercial and HOA property owners directly affected by the project, our president, Scott Harris, and vice president, Dianne McKay, joined city staff and the project design team at a community meeting, held on Oct. 7 at Westlake Elementary School, to present the benefits of, and plans for, the project to the area at large. The meeting was a great opportunity for the community to ask questions about the project and for the city to provide reassurance that potential concerns are being taken into account. For example, the city shared its goal of replacing any trees removed during the project at a ratio of at least 2 to 1, helping to not only mitigate negative impacts but also improve the aesthetics of the area. The changes already being incorporated from the prior meetings with property owners were also presented.

It’s no secret that Mustang loves our home, and we are thrilled to be involved with a project that will make it an even safer, more beautiful place to live, work and play.

For more information on the Westlake Boulevard Sidewalk Project, visit In the meantime, here are a few great photos from community meeting…





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There’s No Place Like Home

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By Megan Macias

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture named Ventura County the most desirable place to live in America. As a Ventura County-based business for nearly 30 years, Mustang Marketing is thrilled to see that the department loves our county as much as we do.

But what about Ventura County makes it so great?

After growing up in Thousand Oaks and graduating from TOHS in 2009, I decided it was time to explore a little outside of our “bubble.” Now, having lived all over the Southern California coastline — from Santa Barbara for my undergraduate studies and San Diego for a stint after graduation to Venice and Culver City during my early professional years — it’s safe to say that I’ve seen my fair share of desirable places to be.

Yet, here I am, back in the county where I came from, and I’m proud to say that there is no place I’d rather be.

In addition to the reasons listed by the USDA, which range from Ventura County’s sunny winters to our access to a body of water — rationale with which I whole-heartedly agree — I’ve come up with a few of my personal top reasons why I love where I live.


1.)  The people: I’m the type of person who makes it a point to have a conversation with strangers in line at the supermarket, on the trails with my dogs, while grabbing the mail — you name it. Not only do the people in Ventura County seem to appease my outgoing personality, but they actually seem to enjoy it as well, and I can easily say that the people in our community, more often than not, bring a smile to my face.

2.)  The food: While we may not have as many five-star-rated restaurants as other counties, there’s something to be said about having those neighborhood spots that you can always rely on (Topper’s Pizza, Pete’s Breakfast House in Ventura, Sesame Inn in Newbury Park, Lure Fish House, Stonehaus in Westlake, anyone?)

3.)  The security: After having some not-so-comforting incidents in some of my former living situations, it’s nice to go about my daily routine knowing that I live in one of the top 30 safest communities in California, according to

4.)  The scenery: Hiking Sycamore Canyon to Pt. Mugu, taking a boat ride around Westlake Lake, driving through Hidden Valley, watching the sunset over Silverstrand beach — if you’re into “stopping and smelling the roses” this is the place to be.

5.)  Mustang Marketing and our clients: As I mentioned before, Mustang was established in Ventura County in 1986, something that has given us the pleasure of working with many outstanding Ventura County-based clients that contribute fantastic products and services to the region. Although I am the newest member of the team, I can easily say that I love where I work, and I am glad Mustang still calls Ventura County home to this very day.

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There’s [Sometimes] an App for That

Earlier this month, the digital news source Mashable released an article detailing the inevitable death of web design. The supposed “symptoms” of its downfall ranged from template commoditization and design pattern maturity to mobile device complications and the preference for artificial intelligence over human decision-making when it comes to web design. Facebook home pages were also an indicator of web design’s imminent demise.

“Facebook pages are so efficient in making a business visible that they are rendering basic web pages useless,” the author explained.

So what does this mean for businesses? Should unique dot-coms be given up in favor of generic WordPress templates and Facebook home pages flooded with photos and — ideally — positive reviews?

At Mustang, we are hesitant to believe that companies should forego quality web design in favor of an “Add Us on Facebook” link.

“I think using Facebook as a company home page is dangerous because it puts the control in someone else’s hands,” says Chris Barrett, Mustang’s creative director. “You are at the mercy of Facebook.”

Creative Manager Michael Arroyo also sees issues with Facebook’s user-friendly algorithms. “On Facebook, you can’t control what ads show up. I don’t think it would be good business to have competitors’ ads on your web presence,” he explains.

Another problem with Mashable’s diagnosis? Our ever-changing world.

“Websites in 10 years will definitely be different from what they are today,” Arroyo explains. “But so will the world. It will be cool to see how things shape up. I highly doubt that the most widely used source of information is going to die anytime soon.”

While the article highlights useful things to consider when it comes to web design, the Mustang Marketing team is hesitant to release the reigns of creativity to automated services and premade frameworks.

“I think we can all agree, though, that not a single out-of-the-box, social, template piece of any kind of technology just works without the need for design and human support,” Arroyo explains. “That includes Google, Facebook, WordPress, Apple or whatever else is waiting around the corner.”

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