When ads go wrong… Classic advertising fails

Sometimes advertisers are just dumb. They don’t seem to think things through when they write, approve, and publish their ads. Other times, accidents of timing or ad placement conspire against them when it’s not really their fault.

Case in point. The Silverdale Gun Club in Saint Ann’s, Ontario made the news this week by offering a Groupon deal for patrons to come and try shooting an AR-15 rifle. Obviously, offering savings on firing the very assault weapon that was used to murder 49 innocent people just a few weeks ago is bad timing. More on that story.

But it was accidental bad timing.

That got me thinking about other times advertisers have been stung by bad luck and timing. Of course there was the classic Amazon popup reminder ad gone wrong:

Similarly, you can see how the ad for cruise vacations is trying to be relevant to the topic the user is viewing on YouTube, but still …

This coke ad was unfortunately located. Still, they probably could have seen this coming.

Other times, you can’t see it coming. That’s because advertisers don’t know what ad will happen to be placed next to (or on top of) theirs.

Which is why this Hitman movie billboard is horrible.

And why Jesus (apparently) loves Hooters. (Don’t we all?)

And, well, this happened.

It occurs in print too. Placed next to a story about suicide, this hair colour ad seems pretty insensitive.

Ditto for this unfortunately placed ad for marriage counselling.

Then, of course, there are the ads that simply seem to have been ill-considered. For example, is this really the best slogan you could have come up with?

Seriously, was this guy really the best choice to play the excited customer in the promo for this particular bargain?

Is the tag line for this drilling company accidentally crass or did someone actually think this was a good idea?

Finally, if you are going to make a full in-store display to promote the fact that you’ve invented a floating phone, you should probably make sure that the thing floats.

Sometimes it just makes you wanna say….