Frankly speaking, most of the TV commercials seem pretty irritating. Imagine: you’re about watching your favorite “Game of Thornes” episode, but these awful ads come over and over again. As we know, in some states, commercials are not allowed during the show-time. However, they significantly delay the moment we’re waiting.
When ads interrupt the show, it drives us mad. But there is a share of groan-inducing commercials which appear to be a complete failure even in terms of marketing. For some reasons, these “winners” try to distract own customers. Who knows – perhaps, their marketing and promotion team were on knives with their CEOs? The fact remains: they all cost plenty of time, money, nerves, and consumer goodwill.
Meet top controversial, sometimes awful, and ill-advised ads (print and television) of all time. Dear students don’t ever air something like that in case you wish to become a successful marketer or business owner.
These ugly "spongmonkeys" can come across as a funny scene, but the question behind is what the hell are they doing in a food commercial? Has anyone associated tasty meals like sandwiches with rats or mice? An ad displaying food and cooking would look more desirable than rodents who usually reflect the failure to comply with sanitary norms.
Most probably, The Modern Humorist provided the most relevant feedback after watching this commercial. They claimed that the gerbil-like creatures were "what you see before you die." It makes us think about the quality of Quiznos instead of going and buying a sandwich.
Even an animated foot fungus looks rather queasily. So what can we say further? The only thing I can say for sure this one is not for the fastidious audience. The worst part comes after: this fungus quickly rips the toenail off the toe, making most of the watchers sick, unwilling to buy the product. The bed jumps in. Disturbing on so many levels, this ripped off toe nail issue is something I cannot explain.
Every issue related to Adolf Hitler or Curt Cobain is bound to be controversial. However, throwing in a deadly disease like AIDS is like throwing gasoline on a fire.
HIV/AIDS organizations rejected their participation in the commercial by citing a concern for those injured patients who might feel stigmatized.
Fashion ads which reflect gender discrimination and violate rights of women are not new to the market world.
But some guys manage to stand out from the rest in this adverse light. Calvin Klein is not just a famous clothing brand, but a rough offender. Together with Dolce & Gabbana, these two were dismissed by millions of followers over the world for the provoking gang-rape imagery. That seemed insufficiently to the authors: soon, a portion of ads with dead female characters wearing their shoes and suits was released. However, we still can’t deny the popularity of these giants.
Oh, we almost forgot about the amateur porn issues the same “hero” involved. Trust us: gang rape is not the worst case these insane guys ever promoted. What about pedophilia? Huh, don’t you like kids? But CK advertising managers do. In the mid-90s, they ran commercials that imitated some kind of low-budget porn screen tests: young men and women (almost boys and girls) were answering provocative questions from an offscreen older adult. Was it Pierre Woodman in the game or something?
Both retailers and consumers criticized that series of ads loudly; even the FBI was involved to investigate any pornography charges that could actually occur. C’mon, calm down, Calvin!
McDonald's "Hit It" Effect
Well, it makes no surprise these guys are on the list once more. Their unethical comparison campaigns and weird Japanese ads are the proof of famous fast food brand madness. Seems like McDonald's has a lot of foreign guys on the board. Those non-native speakers did not manage to research local slang before making this famous fail: "Double Cheeseburger? I'd hit it."
Nearly everyone but McDonald's recognized it as the call to advocate sex with sandwiches, and the ad lives on in parodies online. The worst thing is that such illiteracy only adds up to famous and widely appreciated brands.
Motrin Targeting Angry Moms
Motrin learned a powerful lesson about opinionated moms on Twitter when baby-wearing parents took on the painkiller giant in response to an ad that belittled baby slings as a fashion accessory that might cause pain. The ads didn't last much longer than a day.
Burger King spent millions of dollars traveling to Transylvania, Greenland, and Thailand to find hamburger illiterate people to try their Whopper in an on-the-spot comparative taste test with the Big Mac. Critics blasted Burger King, upset that the company didn't acknowledge the hunger that exists in some of the areas where they filmed, citing Thailand, in particular, where 30% of people would never be able to afford a hamburger.