When Glasgow’s ‘Willy Wonka’ disaster led to a world of pure meme imagination

When Glasgow’s ‘Willy Wonka’ disaster led to a world of pure meme imagination

Scotland’s very own ‘Willy Wonka’ disaster unfolded in Glasgow last week and united the internet, and the memes didn’t disappoint.

In case you missed it, a ‘Willy Wonka experience’ in Glasgow went viral for all the wrong reasons after it was hyped up with AI-generated imagery, promising a magical adventure. However, reality fell short of expectations, as ticket-holders found themselves in an empty-looking warehouse, surrounded by a few hastily assembled tables and DIY decorations.

The aftermath? Kids were crying, parents were fuming, and the police were even called. It was every PR or event person’s worst nightmare.

But as the internet did its thing, it became the adaptation we didn’t know we needed. 

The image of a sad-looking actor dressed as an Oompa Loompa has taken over our social feeds, along with various surreal clips of ‘The Unknown’, a character who is seen sheepishly emerging from behind a mirror. It was a gift that kept on giving.

What can we learn?

Don’t leave it all to AI’s imagination: As AI continues to dominate headlines and revolutionise the way we do things, this is arguably an example of how not to use it. The event left too much to the imagination, and by the sounds of it, AI. From the script-writing to the marketing, it was missing that all-important human touch.

Execution really does matter: A good idea is nothing without an execution to match and can fall flat without proper implementation.

Social media’s verdict: Never underestimate the power of social media and its role as judge, jury and executioner.

Here’s some of our favourite responses from brands:

Just Eat


Mind Charity


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