5 Slogans You Won't Believe People Thought Were a Good Idea
Apparently, 2014 was the year when the inevitable finally happened: companies ran out of slogans. Or they ran out of passable, "doesn't make you want to murder whoever wrote it" slogans, anyway. If Don Draper hadn't been murdered by a roller-skating disco prostitute in 1979 (final season of Mad Men spoilers!) he'd be shaking his head at ...
Van Rental Company Goes for the Racist Pervert Market
If you're driving through Australia, you already expect to see a lot of terrible things. Killer spiders, killer kangaroos, killer koalas -- all par for the course. One of the few things you wouldn't expect to assault you in Australia is a series of giant, racist penis, but here we are:
Click here to see the uncensored versions, if you hate yourself.
An Australian van rental company, Wicked Campers, decided to cover one of their vehicles with pictures of penises from Egypt, Jamaica, England, Australia, and "Africa," dressing them up in stereotypical outfits from each place. And, of course, the stereotypical dicks also varied in stereotypical sizes: the Japanese dong was barely visible, whereas the African one was an Ouroboros-type monstrosity twisted upon itself. To top off their classy paint job, the back of the van boasted this slogan:
Apologies for not blurring out the offensively bad punctuation.
As it turns out, this wasn't an isolated incident for the company but part of its whole corporate image: other vans are decorated with prison bathroom stall-level phrases like "I can already imagine the gaffa tape on your mouth" and "Save a whale, harpoon a Jap." We should mention that threats of violence and public displays of racism are quite illegal in Australia. While getting arrested for plastering YouTube comments across your products isn't usually a good marketing strategy, the company's dickish ad campaign did get them on the national news and this esteemed website, so what do we know?
Malaysia Airlines Cannot Stop Putting Their Foot in Their Mouth
Hey, remember when that Malaysia Airlines plane disappeared back in March? Of course you do -- CNN wouldn't shut up about it for months. Here's someone lucky enough to have forgotten the entire ordeal by now, though: Malaysia Airlines. There's no other explanation for why a company that is known for misplacing entire airplanes and their passengers would tweet out something like this:
It's kind of impressive, when you think about it. Back in September, we told you about their "Ultimate Bucket List" contest, which just reminded people that flying Malaysia Airlines is like daring the Grim Reaper to a Final Destination-off. You would think after the outrage that little slip caused that the company would be extra super-duper careful about their words from then on. But nope -- in the tweet seen above, the company promoted their special ticket deals with the slogan "Want to go somewhere but don't know where?" As Twitter users were quick to point out, that turn of phrase is a bit too reminiscent of getting on one of their planes and ending up in some sort of wormhole/Bermuda Triangle/regular horrific crash, like flight MH370.
The company offered free flyer miles to the offended, but all declined.
Here's a free idea for your next campaign, Malaysia Airlines: "We promise not to kill you." There. That should reassure people.
Dallas Forgets About That Assassination Incident
Dallas is known for exactly three things: being home to a football team that everyone supposedly loves but really everyone hates, "Who Shot J.R.?" and a tiny incident involving a president of the United States and some bullets.
Dallas City Tours seems to have blocked out that last one. Based on their bus design and logo, you have to assume they remember Nov. 22, 1963, only as that lovely morning John F. Kennedy spent in their fair city.
It all gets a bit fuzzy after 12:30 p.m. for some reason.
Dammit, Dallas, will you stop putting holes in JFK? This is getting to be a bad habit. The fact that you actually split open the president's head using a handle in the middle of his forehead is creepy enough, but it's the slogan that really takes this to another level of tasteless. Yes, Dallas, no one doubts that "Big Things Happen" there, but maybe if the biggest thing you can think of to represent your city is also one of the worst moments in American history, you should just start advertising your doll museum or something.
Here's their alternate slogan, brought to you by Oswald and the Second Shooter.
Dallas Paper Promises a "Taste of Africa" ... During Ebola Outbreak
Why, hello, Dallas. Nice to see you again so soon. Perhaps in an attempt to prove that their fine city has more to offer than just football and political assassinations, back in late September the Dallas Weekly newspaper decided to promote an event with the tagline "'Taste of Africa' Comes to Dallas!" The only problem? As you may have heard, there was something else coming from Africa to Dallas at the exact same time: it starts with "holy shit" and ends with "Ebola."
On the upside, this is actually how the CDC found out about the outbreak.
That's ... one way to cover the story, we guess. While the event was nice enough (they had bouncy houses!) and the cover itself was first published before anyone knew Ebola was vacationing in America, the timing of the online edition could not have been worse. The email blasts (read: spam) for the newspaper went out just after the first Ebola case in the United States was diagnosed in the exact same city. Suddenly, the "taste of Africa" sounded a lot less like Jollof rice and a lot more like blood pouring out of every mucus membrane.
"Sorry, you'll have to face your slow and painful death while stone-cold sober."
But hey, maybe whoever was in charge of the emails just wasn't keeping up with the news. It's not like they worked in a newspa- oh.
Texas High School Accidentally Promotes Rape
Texas again? Really? OK, now they're just fucking with people. Some months ago, James W. Martin High School outside of (yup) Dallas decided to go with a somewhat controversial slogan to promote its football team:
That is, "shirts too small for our bodies."
"We take what we want"? Ehh, that's not so bad. After all, their mascot is a pirate, and pirates are known for stealing stuff, so we're not really sure what the big ...
Wait, is the character on the shirts stripping?
... oh. Nope, that is terrible. "We take what we want" followed by "Shhhhhhhh, just let it happen" should exist as a football team slogan only in Family Guy as a bad background gag. When "Maybe they meant it as an insensitive joke on Native Americans?" is your best-case scenario, it might be time to get new shirts. Despite all that, no one in a position of power seemed to notice for months. The coach even said he had seen the players wearing the shirts, and it never occurred to him that the slogan made it look like he was training an army of date-rapists.
A booster, on the other hand, found it "sickening" -- that is, sickening that the message on the shirts was being "misconstrued" by people who thought it sounded unbelievably rapey. It's good to know that people from Texas keep things in perspective when it comes to football.
While you're here, also check out 4 Corporate Logos That Backfired in Hilarious Ways and 4 Hilarious Leaked Emails Corporations Don't Want You to See.