We've previously exposed you to the darker side of sexy advertising, and, Cthulhu willing, we'll continue to do so forever, because companies just can't stop screwing the pooch, taking pictures of it, and using them to try to sell pet food. Be warned -- some of the following is probably NSFW, unless your workplace is either seriously chill or incredibly disturbing.
New Zealand is a beautiful country with a rich cultural heritage that probably extends beyond Flight of the Conchords and the Lord of the Rings movies. But even if it doesn't, that's still pretty good. Due to the presence of sheep farming in the country, however, it is also associated with the unfortunate stereotype of sheep boning. How tired is that joke? Every rural area in the world is accused of having sex with sheep. Where does this shit even come fr-
That's an ad for Icebreaker Sportswear's merino wool clothing line. And they figured the best way to sell said line of wool clothing to a people who are already pretty tired of the sheep-boning jokes is to depict sheep as naked people being sexily sheared.
"Something seems different about Larry. Eh, it's probably nothing."
We're not sure how avant garde the ad industry is in New Zealand, but this is weird, right? Look, we hear there are no poisonous spiders in you, New Zealand, so you've got that going for you. But we're going to hold off on booking a ticket until we can confirm that all of your billboards aren't Guillermo del Toro directing porn.
Here's an ad campaign by Tulipan condoms, an Argentinean company. They're hyping up their extra-thin condom line:
"His girlfriend's such a dick."
It's like the porn knockoff of The Human Centipede. We get the idea -- "they're so thin, it's like there's no barrier between you two!" But rarely is it a good advertising practice to take a statement to its most horrifyingly literal extent. This reads less like "the most intimate moment" and more like a PSA from the Star Trek universe about why you shouldn't fuck in teleporters.
Anal: the final frontier.
Not being able to last in bed is a common issue for men around the world (Or uh ... so we've heard. From friends. Not good friends). Fowin has a product to help with that. Unfortunately, while you're out buying said product, a giant piece of produce is going to town on your wife's nether regions.
In 2010, Thai company Fowin ran this ad for their sexual efficiency ring ...
You recognize the scene: a shocked woman, naked in bed, an off-screen lover presumably just returning home, while a frightened adulterer hides outside, sweating. At least we hope that's sweat. You can see where they might be trying to be clever, but the whole ad is based on the assumption that your lover is rampantly fucking everything in the fridge unless you can literally knock her out with your penis, and that is a dark and terrifying world we're not sure we want to be in. Well, maybe we could go there for a vacation -- but not to live.
Back in the November 1969 issue of Playboy, Tipalet brand cigarettes ran this winner of an ad:
"Your cancer ward or mine?"
You know women: they love secondhand smoke almost as much as they love the interior of strangers mouths and rampant disrespect. We're not even sure what they were going for here. Innuendo? The ad men did have a thick, white excretion come out of a man and land squarely on the woman's face and open mouth. But that seems like a bit of a reach. Maybe they're simply trying to say that women love it when you hate them in public. That sounds like the '60s ad world that we know.
There's an incredibly thin line you walk when you use a child to advertise an adult product. We would go so far as to suggest that you never, ever do it. We know, we know, you want to capture something about innocence and blah blah ad speak -- but it usually comes across as something out of a Sears catalog for pedophiles.
"Our bottles are the perfect size for tiny fingers to point out bad-touch for the authorities."
Yep, that's a naked child done up to look like prime-era Brooke Shields, giving you bedroom eyes while holding a bottle of perfume, a product very closely associated with sexuality. And you called it "Tiny Treasures." The folks at Harper's Bazaar made this mistake in 1984, and the outrage was swift in coming, forcing the editor-in-chief to issue a half-assed apology in the next issue. "I offer my sincere apologies," he probably wrote, "ideally, the ad department would be doing this, but they were all busy videotaping the ball pit at a Chuck E. Cheese for reasons they were hesitant to explain."
"How many fun-tickets is it for a new Childhood Innocence?"
In September of 2009, Czech French restaurant Le Cornichon created a series of ads that depicted anthropomorphic versions of dishes on their menu. The ads are actually pretty creative, until you get to the one for their goose leg confit with parsley.
Don't try the cream sauce.
Congratulations! You now have softcore furry porn in your browser cache.
Also, please note that the ad put feathers on the tits, to assure the viewer that this is just a super sexy goose, but the legs -- the part you're supposed to eat -- are definitely human. So not only does it want to sexualize your food -- which is strange on the best of days -- it's also encouraging a cannibal fetish.
Ever wonder what a Mormon gangbang looks like?
Romneys Gone Wild.
Five fully-clothed men wrenching a naked woman around by the arms doesn't exactly scream "playful." Sure, the woman has a halfhearted smile, suggesting it's all in fun. But you might recognize that as the same smile you give a man dressed entirely in bloody tin foil when he makes eye contact with you on the subway. It's the "I would like this to stop, but I also don't want to offend you because I enjoy having skin" smile.
Now check out that tiny text and relax! It's all a game. That game is Ring Around the Rosie, the girl is named Rosie and she is the game, as is any other woman unlucky enough to stumble into the all-khaki molestation circle.
One day an ad exec at Burlington Socks stood up in a meeting and said, "You know what this company needs to sell our products? Strong hints at incestuous blowjobs!" Security was immediately called, but they were away from the desk dealing with a bird that somehow got into accounting. What else could the ad team do then, but roll with the only suggestion on the table?
The commercial starts off with a little boy sitting in the kitchen. His attractive-in-a-borderline-unhinged-kind-of-way mother prepares something at the counter. Suddenly the little tyke looks up and calls to her. He says, "Can you sock me please?" And here's where it turns ugly: the kid has an unidentifiable accent coupled with a slight speech impediment, causing the resulting phrase to sound far worse than it already is. The mother walks over to him, tells him he's cute, then kneels down, her head going out of shot.
He barely touched his breakfast and already you're rewarding him? Some parent you are.
Then we see -- ha ha! -- his mother was only putting on his socks for him. Why, we were so wrong to assume the worst here. You got us, Burlington Socks.
"Sometimes she'll let me go barefoot."
Except wait, no -- "Can you sock me please?" is not a phrase that people say, and there's no damn speech impediment we've ever heard of that turns a soft "o" sound into a "u." This whole scenario was artificially engineered for the blowjob joke. And if you find yourself building an elaborate, Mousetrap-like setup to shoehorn child molestation into your sock commercial, maybe child molestation just wasn't meant to be this time, hey?
For more questionable advertising, check out 13 Wildly Irresponsible Vintage Ads Aimed at Kids and The 16 Most Hilariously Dishonest Old School Advertisements.
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