When it comes to advertising, some people say that ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity’. Any form of publicity, after all, means attaining the goal of reaching out to as many people as possible, creating awareness about you, your product, or your services.
There are, however, a bunch of ads that make you wince in discomfort, embarrassed for both the company that made the said ad, and you yourself, as the onlooker subjected to these aforementioned ads. Here we’ve put together some of the most embarrassing ads that made us cringe over the years – be warned though, some of these might be NSFW:
PETA’s banned 2009 Super Bowl Ad
PETA had always been shameless with their campaigns, often pandering to the aged ad adage (see what I did there?) that ‘sex sells’. From their scantily clad hotties dressed in veggie leaves, to dressing up as Klan members to hand out flyers as a publicity stunt, PETA will stop at nothing to get the attention they so desperately crave.
Bud Light’s banned 2006 Super Bowl Ad
Obviously, tons of companies vie for the most memorable ad come Super Bowl, which is probably why many of them end up with over the top commercials that end up getting banned. Take this Bud Light ad for instance – sure it’s memorable and funny, but it also leaves a bad taste in the mouth and a bad impression for Budweiser. I know I won’t be reaching for a Bud Light after seeing that.
Burger King’s Super Seven Incher Ad
Image via Sugar Slam
Blatantly tasteless - which is ironic, given how good the sandwich actually is (I had it before I saw this ad) – Burger King’s campaign for its seven inch sandwich raises a lot of eyebrows with its upfront innuendo-laced ads. As if to spell it out for idiots, they had to put in the word ‘BLOW’ in huge type, even.
Humans for Animals: Seal Ad
Image via Ads of the World
‘Shockvertisement’ or advertisement through shocking content, is some sort of branch of advertising that is often looked down upon. It purposely creates ads that are meant to shock people, drawing attention to themselves like some attention-seeking drama queen. This one from Humans for Animals is a great example of this, using the direct inverse of the iconic image of a baby seal being clubbed to death.
Sisley – Fashion Junkie Ad
Image via College Candy
Sisley’s campaign may think they’re promoting the hard-partying life of fashion models with this advert, but what it’s really doing for me is promoting substance abuse. Coke, in particular. I’d also like to point out that ‘Fashion’ is misspelled on there as well. That, or it’s a failed play on ‘heroin’ or something.
Bonus Embarassing Ad:
Image via Men Zone
This ad turns the tables around, turning you out to be the embarrassment. Mounted drooping on purpose, any passerby curious enough to lift it up is in for a surprise, effectively pitching in some deodorant. Brilliant.