PR Win of The Week: ASOS

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Photo: Twitter / @ASOS

The situation

For the average retailer, printing 17,000 bags with a typo on them is the stuff of nightmares. But UK fast fashion retailer ASOS recently did just that, and spun the mistake in such a way that they proved themselves anything but average.

The bags in question, which were mistakenly printed with ‘discover fashion onilne’ (rather than the intended ‘discover fashion online’) were destined to be sent out with orders for the company’s signature look of trendy, fashion forward clothing, shoes, and accessories. So, it was only fitting that when ASOS realized their error, they were the first to poke fun at themselves on Twitter in the cheekiest way possible. 

The response

Almost everyone has known the distressing feeling of sending out a cringe-inducing typo they can’t take back, which is what makes ASOS’s response to the situation all the more clever.

Their tweet not only acknowledged the typo on their bags, but positioned the bags as ‘limited edition’, making their blunder an ironically cool and relatable power play. Every major corporation wants to be seen as approachable, and ASOS’s acceptance of the situation allowed them to start conversations and engage with their customers. Many Twitter users expressed interest in receiving a ‘limited edition’ typo bag, and some even tweeted back with their own humourous tales of the typos they’ve sent out. 

Our analysis

It takes a lot of guts to admit a mistake like this, and we really have to commend ASOS’s graceful handling of the situation. They could have recalled the offending bags to ensure that the majority of them failed to make it into the hands of their customers. They could have sent the bags out anyways, acknowledged the typo, and moved on. But they didn’t. The fact they made such a huge deal about the typo is what has us really impressed. It’s one thing for a brand to successfully execute a planned marketing campaign, but it’s even more incredible when they’re able to turn a big mistake into an even bigger accomplishment. Well done, ASOS!

About the Author

Victoria has a bachelor’s degree Simon Fraser University, where she majored in Communications. She is currently the Communications and Outreach Coordinator for the Gastrointestinal Society, a charity committed to promoting GI and liver health among Canadians. In her free time, she enjoys baking delicious treats, thrift shopping, and hiking.