14 Accidentally Offensive Modern Advertisements

Swing and a miss.
14 Accidentally Offensive Modern Advertisements

Advertising is often like tossing a dart into the void. As a company owner, you have no idea what will land or if it will help you build your reputation. As a result, you must use extreme caution when distributing anything that may be construed as deceptive advertising.

Advertising has the potential to be incredible. The best advertising can, on rare occasions, make you cry. Under the worst scenario, it may make you feel disgusted. The majority of ads make you feel nothing whatsoever. However, a few of them force you to halt, turn your head, and ask, "Huh?" These advertisements are the latter – from advertisements to printed ads, these ad companies walked down the street to the unusual and strange instead of taking the traditional path.

We'll give advertisers the benefit of the doubt and assume that brainstorming sessions don't begin with "let's make Ashton Kutcher brown." But at least one of them came to an end there, and PopChips must make amends. Here are a few more instances where an ad campaign devolved into the bizarrely offensive:

American Apparel tweet Diar 6 not that in the to the the DE the *** the with 3211 on the CRACKED.COM Comedian Fahim Anwar noticed that this spot sure feels like it's treating the Mexican dude as a fashion accessory. AA, for their part, called the controversy contrived. After all, Raul is a family friend and the photos turned out great.
Intel CRACKED.COM Intel promised to maximize the power of your employees with this portrait of a modern-day plantation owner. They tried to pull the ad, which they admitted was insensitive and insulting, but one publication squeaked it out by accident.
Chicago Lake Liquors CRACKED.COM After evesdropping on a black guy talking on his phone, the whitest man in Minnesota is inspired to dap up the cashier, declare his savings pimp tight, and spontaneously grow a diamond grill. The black guy is visibly uncomfortable, which... is supposed to be the funny part?
Burger King CRACKED.COM This spot for the Texican Whopper is condescending as hell, what with the great big cowboy towering over the tiny widdle Mexican wrestler. But the Mexican government spoke out against it for disrespecting their flag as a fashion item - something Americans are weirdly cool with.
Nivea HIVEA RE-CIVILIZE YOURSEL CRACKED.CO In an attempt to... sell skin cream, somehow... they showed a guy hurling a grimacing, disembodied head and bidding others to follow suit and re-civilize yourself.
Sony PlayStation Portable _white lis coming CRACKED.COM Sony's defense of this weirdly vicious billboard was that it was meant to be viewed in Holland, and Americans just don't get it.
Salesgenie .com OO GRACKED.COM This ad features two wildly insensitive caricatures who eat their own inventory while complaining that We have no customers. No sales. We going out of business. It ran during the Super Bowl but was pulled shortly thereafter.
Alicia Keys the FRICAN AM IAM AFRICA CRACKED.COM Lots of celebs are complicit here, but the ads were for Keys' Keep a Child Alive charity. They slapped some vaguely African-looking face paint on some hot people to illustrate the point that humanity originated in Africa, so you should care about African kids.
A terror hotline in the UK TERRORISTS WON'T SUCCEED IF SOMEONE REPORTS SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY Flat 2 CRACKED.COM In 2010, a whole multimedia ad campaign encouraged Brits to report people who looked suspicious. According to one radio spot, suspicious behavior included paying with cash, and not chitchatting (aka, minding one's own f*ing business).
The European Union CRACKED.COM The EU thought the best way to promote unity was to show a white lady being menaced by a bunch of foreigners martial artists, and ultimately being saved by summoning several more, identical white ladies.
Bing How you can #SupportJapan http://binged.t/thhyill For every retweet, @bing will give $1 to Japan quake victims, up to $100K. 45 AM Mar 12th via Cotweet Retweeted by 100+ people GRACKED.COM This thoughtless tweet was essentially begging folks to help create the 3rd most viral tweet of all time, in exchange for .125% of Bing's yearly advertising budget.
PopChips CRACKED.COM They put Ashton Kutcher in brownface in an attempt at nt-hearted parody, perhaps inspired by the box office smash hit The Love Guru?
Demeter Fragrance DEMETER Respon FRAGRANCE FRAGRANCE LIBRARY BOST First Response First BOSTON. DO GOOD SMELL GOOD 75% OF DO SALE DONATED TO BOSTON FIRST RESPONDERS FUND Pick-Me-U Cologno CRACKED.CO Demeter's whole thing is fabricating weird stinks that no one would really want on their body. They had already developed a smoke and burning rubber scent that was meant to honor first responders, but when the Boston Marathon bombing happened, their pupils turned into dollar signs.
UNICEF DEN ICH WARTE AUF LETZTEN SCHULTAG. AFRIKA DIE KINDER IN ERSTE NOCH AUF DEN CRACKED.COM In 2007, UNICEF wanted to raise money to build schools in Africa, and they decided to visualize the link between different cultures by slapping some mud on the faces of white kids. Baffled by the backlash, UNICEF insisted their German focus groups hadn't flagged any of this as racist.
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