When corporate flexing goes wrong

Corporations have a long history of failed flexes. We felt it was our duty to share some of the worst…


September 25, 2020

Sam recently Slack’d the team with the above fun fact about Tesla’s car model names. (Yes, Sam’s avatar is Harvey Dent / Two-Face.)

Tesla seems to have a knack for pulling off corporate flexes. But this nugget inspired us to go back to the archives and dig up some efforts from other companies that didn’t quite hit the mark.

Freshworks’ Dread Zeppelin

  • What it was: A blimp toting the hashtag #Failsforce that circled the Salesforce Tower during its flagship Dreamforce event, with 170K+ attendees looking on.
  • Why it failed: Freshworks scored points for sass, but that’s about it. Salesforce continues to absolutely dominate the CRM market.

Richard Branson’s Tank

  • What it was: In 1994, the Famous Virgin himself drove a tank through Times Square and “blew up” the Coke sign to announce the arrival of Virgin Soda in the US.
  • Why it failed: Coke drove them out of business shortly after. Karma, Sir Richard.

Slack’s “Dear John Microsoft…” Letter

  • What it was:: A full page Slack ad in the New York Times welcoming Microsoft Teams (a new competing product) to the scene.
  • Why it failed: It read like a passive-aggressive letter that a condescending ex would write. (Microsoft: If you’re reading this, Slack still wants its damn sweatshirt back.)

Did we forget any flex failures? Do share.

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