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4 Advertising Gimmicks That Backfired Hilariously

We get it, advertisers. We live in a world where you're competing with regular porn, crazy porn, and porn so weird, it was only invented five minutes ago, so you're fighting tooth and nail for every pair of eyes you can get on your product. And sometimes this means putting wacky and rushed ad campaigns out there ... which is great for us, because then we get to make fun of more stuff!

#4. Father's Day Ad Promotes Incest, Cross-Dressing

If you've ever presented your dad with a boneheaded gift, take heart, because there's no way you screwed up as hard as a Stockholm mall did this year for Father's Day. Instead of promoting the usual ties and cheap do-it-yourself furniture as gifts, consumers were presented with this inexplicable option:

Skarmdump/Instagram
Perfect if your dad is Prince.

No, "Please, please him" isn't Swedish for "The golf club section is over there." That's English for "Please, please him," "him" being your father and the gift suggestion being these purple panties. Shoppers couldn't tell if they were expected to buy the panties for their dads or wear the panties for their dads. Either way, the mall said they'd withdraw the campaign and issue an immediate apology to fathers everywhere.

#3. Eco-Friendly Beach Ball Terrorizes London

When a London developer wanted to advertise how environmentally friendly their new construction project was, they naturally turned to that tried and true symbol of eco-consciousness -- the giant beach ball. What's that? You don't get how a humongous beach ball tethered to a building is connected to green design? The ball represented the 162 tons of carbon dioxide that would have been released into the atmosphere if not for this eco-friendly project. DUH.

mirror.co.uk
It also contains enough beach ball material for 162 Phish concerts.

So one minute Londoners are laughing at this gaudy promotional gimmick, the next minute a storm hits, the ball is dislodged from the building, and things go "bollockingly tits up." (That's how they talk in London, right?)

Instead of just battling the usual commute worries of grim weather and excessive primness, Londoners had a humongous beach ball bouncing around their road. And believe it or not, it's shockingly difficult to be mindful of the environment when a car-dwarfing inflatable ball is competing for a spot on the roundabout.

twitter.com/Bern798
These SyFy original movies keep getting worse and worse.

Thankfully, local council members deflated the abomination before it killed anyone. And don't think for one second it wasn't going to try.

#2. Conan O'Brien Is Fined for Using a Familiar Beep

Way back in April 2012, Conan had a great idea to air a promo for a future Jack Black appearance. Only instead of whipping out a hilarious one-liner or impromptu air-guitar shredding like you'd expect, Conan's people thought it would be funny to get attention with their version of the emergency alert system.

You know that "KKKCCCCHHH BEEEEEEEEEEEP" sound that we're subjected to every now and then? The one that's supposed to warn us about a hurricane or an Amber Alert or a sick towel sale at Target? It turns out those sounds are not meant to advertise for Jack Black, not even as a warning to run away.

20th Century Fox
How many more must suffer?

So the FCC just now fined TBS $25,000 for "crying wolf" with the fake warning. Which makes us wonder: Exactly how backed up is the FCC's DVR?

#1. Katy Perry's Album Prompts a Quarantine

The deluxe version of Katy Perry's new album, Prism, features cover artwork that incorporated a sheet of seeds for fans to plant and "spread the light." Cute idea, right? Not as far as Australia was concerned. Where Katy Perry saw "seeds," Australia saw "biohazard," and they put that shit under quarantine.

Capitol Records
Australia's also pissed that she's jacking Natalie Imbruglia's deer-in-the-headlights pose.

Thanks to Australia's extreme isolation, they can usually avoid infestations of crop-destroying bugs or kitchy pop music, which means they have to be hyper-vigilant when any of the above attempts to cross their shores. Instead of seeing Perry's album as spreading light, they saw it as spreading plant pathogens -- and they weren't having it.

So while everyone else around the world is playing farmer while listening to dance music, Australia straight up seized and quarantined the imports of the album. (We also presume Kylie Minogue enjoyed a Skype session with Perry in which she did nothing but ominously growl, "STAY OUT OF MY TERRITORY.")


Lachlan tweets occasionally.

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