The 16 Most Hilariously Dishonest Old School Advertisements

#7. Lose Weight, Eat More Sugar


OK, there's technically nothing misleading about the statement that eating ice cream before lunch will probably make you feel like eating less. It's the same principle that dictates you'll eat much less salad at dinnertime if you chomp down on a Big Mac beforehand.

On the subject of Big Macs:

#6. McDonald's Is Technically Real Food

Via Blurbfromtheburbs

Why, it's just bread, meat, milk and potatoes! That's the same kind of stuff doctors are always telling you to eat. And our rendered bacon fat milkshakes are made from 100 percent real pig!

#5. The Ford Pinto -- It'll Be Worth Something Someday

Via Ebay

In an ironic twist, this ad might actually be correct. If you own a functional, running, nonexploded Ford Pinto, then it probably would be worth something today just from the sheer odds-defying mathematical unlikelihood of that proposition.

Presumably Ford knew their new car was a piece of shit and went with the tried and true "place it next to successful things and hope people get confused" approach.

#4. Beware the Orphan Asylum


The Prudential Insurance Company of America preferred to let this stark image speak for itself. Miss a payment on your life insurance and your wife will be forced to hand your children over to the world's meanest looking woman, and they will live the rest of their lives in a Charles Dickens novel moving around trash with a stick. Like a cliched reality TV star, Prudential isn't here to make friends. They're here for the money.

#3. Juicy Fruit: As Addictive as Crack


The family's supply of Juicy Fruit is low, which means they've gotten all 25 minutes of flavor out of their 300 pack. It's not that Wrigley's gum is made from crack; it's just that children are addicted to the health benefits of chewing on processed sugar after every meal.

#2. Overland -- It's Made of Steel!

Via Dave and Buster's News

This advertisement for the now defunct "Overland" car brand excitedly declares that "steel is 30 times stronger than wood!" And that's how Overland saved the world from road fatalities and revolutionized the automobile industry. Oh no, actually, they went out of business and nobody remembers them.

#1. Sea Monkeys: Just Shrimp After All


Perhaps the most iconic bullshit ad of all time. Even in the 1970s, everyone had to have known the Sea Monkeys thing was full of shit. And yet, there was always that lingering feeling that for only $1.25 you could own a breed of intelligent mer-people who served you as their king. Add to that the promise that your sea monkeys would be "clowning around" and "learning tricks" for your amusement.

Instead, you got a packet of quarter-inch frozen brine shrimp. Because this is the real world, Timmy.

Matthew Culkin is a junior English major at Tulane University. Reach him for comment or writing opportunity at, or follow him at @MRCulkin.

For more ads that are terribly out of touch, check out 8 TV Ads That Hate Women and 10 Awesome Ads (For Traumatizing Children).

And stop by LinkSTORM to laugh at the past some more.

And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get sexy, sexy jokes sent straight to your news feed.

Do you have an idea in mind that would make a great article? Then sign up for our writers workshop! Do you possess expert skills in image creation and manipulation? Mediocre? Even rudimentary? Are you frightened by MS Paint and simply have a funny idea? You can create an infograpic and you could be on the front page of tomorrow!

Recommended For Your Pleasure

To turn on reply notifications, click here


The Cracked Podcast

Choosing to "Like" Cracked has no side effects, so what's the worst that could happen?

The Weekly Hit List

Sit back... Relax... We'll do all the work.
Get a weekly update on the best at Cracked. Subscribe now!