14 Ads That Backfired Big-Time

Sometimes, an idea that absolutely killed in a pitch meeting turns out to be a dud. But in the advertising world, they often have to power through and hope for the best, because there's a lot of money riding on said idea. That's how we wound up with stuff like an accidentally pro-cocaine PSA, Andy Warhol silently chowing down on decades-old beef, and car-f*in' mechanics.

14

McDonald's begs rappers to sell out CRACKED COM The marketing firm that got rappers to namedrop Seagram's thought they could pull it off a second time with the Big Mac. But someone leaked the plan, McDonald's was publicly shamed, and not a single rapper ended up taking the deal. You got

Source: The Guardian

13

Mercedez says your mechanic is f*ing your car CRACKED.COM They released, and swiftly deleted, a cheeky music video about the intimate relationship between mechanics and luxury cars. A lady car sings stuff like I like them to be strong that they can catch me when I skid Like them to turn me on I thought that some of them did.

Source: Business Insider

12

Burger King digs up Andy Warhol's corpse to huck Whoppers CRACKED COM The King had some archival footage (and $5 million) burning a hole in his pocket, So BK aired 30 seconds of Warhol silently struggling to slap ketchup out of the bottle during the 2019 Super Bowl. It was lowest-rated

Source: YouTube

11

Gillette's performative femini$m In an attempt to glom onto the #MeToo movement, Gillette made a We Believe spot to tear down toxic masculinity and encourage men to support women. Sounds nice, except that they were still effectively charging a pink tax their -colored products geared toward women were more

Source: YouTube

10

Unilever's heartwarming homophobia O'MGAY Flora, a South African sludge marketed as a heart-healthy butter substitute, turned to a hamfisted metaphor to show the importance of a strong ticker: a bullet that says UHH, DAD I'M GAY heading straight for a porcelain heart.

Source: Business Insider

9

Physical fitness PSA makes junk food look fun as hell The President's Council on Physical Fitness wanted to show kids how stupid they look stuffing their faces after school, instead of doing jumping jacks or whatever. They ended up making a very effective ad for a fake pastry product

Source: The 6 Most Counterproductive PSAs of All Time

8

Sony courts vandals, gets predictably vandalized In 2005, Sony hired a bunch of local graffiti artists to tag buildings with such subversive imagery as: a kid skateboarding on a PSP. Other artists immediately labeled them as advertisements, or just painted right over them.

Source: Independent

7

Scientology makes a commercial for cocaine In an effort to teach aspiring actors about the pitfalls of recreational drug use, they showed an attractive young woman... having an extremely good night on cocaine. She has a very minor freakout, and then her pals all leave the party to take

Source: The 6 Most Counterproductive PSAs of All Time

6

Dove doesn't see race w ae ae CRACKEDOO This baffling spot shows a black woman cheerfully removing her shirt to turn into a white lady, with the implication that Dove body wash will let you do the same!

Source: The Drum

5

You get VD! And you get VD! The American Social Health Association set out to tell America's youth hey, VD is lurking around every corner!' So naturally, they... showed beautiful people enjoying their lives, unencumbered, while someone crooned VD is for everybody. The effective lesson was: everyone gets VD

Source: The 6 Most Counterproductive PSAs of All Time

4

The Hyundai ix35: better than suicide! This spot shows a man in distress, rigging his car to pump carbon monoxide into the cabin only to realize his new car merely emits harmless H2O! After the inevitable backlash, Hyundai blamed it on an ad agency gone rogue.

Source: YouTube

3

Adult Swim causes a citywide bomb scare eneseg Cetoe Essssseessssseesess ses: BREAKING NEWS o000o0 TURNER BROADCASTING ADMITS HOAX Adult Swim had local artists across the US install little Lite-Brite murals of Mooninites as part of a guerilla marketing scheme. The good people of Boston thought they were bombs, and

Source: Adult Swim’s Goofball Marketing Stunt That Caused A City-Wide Bomb Scare

2

Dude cashes a fake $95k junk mail check CRACKED COM Professional prankster Patrick Combs received a faux-check mailer asking for an investment, and decided to try his luck depositing it. The bank screwed up big time when they accidentally cleared it Combs hadn't even endorsed it and were on the hook

Source: SF Gate

1

Mountain Dew makes the most racist commercial in history CRACKED.COM They made one bizarre commercial where a Dew-addicted goat (voiced by Tyler the Creator) beats the crap out of a lady. Then the sequel came along, wherein the goat appears in a wildly stereotypical police lineup, menacing his victim to

Source: YouTube