#3. Dunlop Tires
This 1993 commercial features the Velvet Underground in the soundtrack, and upon first viewing it you'll probably have trouble telling it apart from an actual music video.
But examine it carefully, and you'll soon spot all of those classic tire commercial elements: Women in surreal costumes...
... random bursts of flames...
... pianos cruising down the road and tumbling off of bridges...
...some strange orc like monsters...
... and what appears to be a sumo wrestler spreading ball bearings.
The motto at the end of the commercial states that these tires are "tested for the unexpected," implying that no matter what comes your way while you drive, your bitching Dunlop tires can handle it. Look, if your morning commute involves any of the items on the above list, you have problems far, far beyond what brand of tire you currently employ. So the next time you're driving down a road covered in ball bearings and you almost get pulled over by a woman with a birdcage on her head, don't think about switching tire brands. Just get the fuck out of town.
#2. Halo 3
Again, we have another product where the method of advertising should be pretty simple. The Halo series is mostly powered by brand name anyway. All that really needs to be done is to slap together a few gameplay clips and air them for a couple of days for the benefit of the three gamers who haven't heard of the series.
Instead we have a faux-war documentary featuring someone impersonating a BBC narrator and a man who looks a little too old to have any idea what he's advertising.
"I remember taking a bullet at Normandy... Uh, I mean, at the Halo 3."
The touching scene takes place at the vaguely named Museum of Humanity, which based on the opening shot of the commercial is a giant building dedicated entirely to one tiny diorama. While using a diorama to show the scale of the battles seen in the game is kind of a neat idea, it quickly loses its appeal when you actually play Halo 3 and discover that your comrades spend half the game getting gunned down uselessly and the other half playing bumper cars with you while you're trying to drive places. So in retrospect, it's hard to view this commercial as anything other than a memorial to Master Chief's "special" comrades.
Along with the other commercials in the series, this marketing campaign cost about $10,000,000 to create. The amount of income brought in by convincing people who otherwise weren't going to buy the game to purchase it? About zero.
#1. Apple Computers
Let's say it's 1984, you've just started a computer company and you want to compete with the giant of the industry, IBM. Do you (A) make a simple yet eloquent commercial that shows off the advantages your new product has to offer, or (B) hire Ridley Scott, give him just under a $1,000,000, order him to direct an homage to George Orwell's famous dystopian novel while only vaguely referencing computers, and then air that Frankenstein monster during the Superbowl?
If you picked A, then congratulations, you're a normal human being. If you picked B, you're Steve Jobs. You're also completely insane, but you're probably too busy building a house made entirely of gold bricks to care.
For reasons beyond our understanding, this commercial is considered one of the greatest ever made, and also one of the most influential. We guess there's something about watching Anya Major throw a sledgehammer through a giant television screen that really speaks to people.
Feeling the urge to go buy a new computer, aren't you?
But one group of people this ad didn't speak to were those in charge of the George Orwell Estate, whose legal actions made sure that this commercial would never again be aired on television.
So, we've got lawsuits, and public praise and public outrage. All of this is made retrospectively less important when you realize that the technology everyone was making a big fuss about...
Then go to Cracked.com's Top Picks to rinse the stench of commercial failure of your skin with stuff from the Internet that doesn't come from us (we know, we're shocked also).