Archive for the ‘bad advertising’ Category

The f*** you-attitude in advertising

May 19, 2007


After Jeep Compass, here’s a new communication action for a SUV that is really shocking me. This time it’s Belgian ad for Fiat Sedici. They issued a brochure taglined “Every day is 4×4”. On page 9, they seem to promote the airco (among other options) with the following message: “In a near future, the increase in our planet’s temperature will be about 1,4 to 5,8 degrees…”

This car has a CO2 emission of 174 g/km… Compared to other SUVs, it’s not that much but it’s still a lot (the Toyota Prius, a clean(er) car, has an emission of 104 g/km)

Using the global warming argument to sell SUVs… what is that supposed to mean? Is it meant to be provocative? Or would it mean that SUV drivers don’t give a damn about climate crisis? Unless they just didn’t realized what they were writing…

As written on Asia Market Research: “Based on the premise that brands can have personalities in much the same way as humans, Brand Personality describes brands in terms of human characteristics. Brand personality is seen as a valuable factor in increasing brand engagement and brand attachment, in much the same way as people relate and bind to other people. Much of the work in the area of brand personality is based on translated theories of human personality and using similar measures of personality attributes and factors.”

At first sight, Fiat Sedici isn’t a personality I want to know better.


Advertising Razzies

May 10, 2007


I named this blog “Bad idea, indeed” because I was initially planning to write posts about bad advertising. It turned out to be a little broader than that. In advertising, like in movies we have plenty of awards but in don’t think we have an equivalent of the Razzie Awards, celebrating the worst movies of the year.

What could be this advertising version? I see several possible awards for each media:

– The Steven Seagal award for the worst acting in an advertising (this one would be only for TV, online vids and radio ads, of course)

– The Copycat award, for the plagiarism of the year

– The dada award, for the less understandable ad of the year

– The Destroy Tibet award, for the commercial carrying the worst values

and why not a worst ad placement award or the worst marketing 2.0 action…

There’s a copyright on the Razzie concept. We’ll have to find something else for those advertising awards. What would be a suitable name for this ceremony?

So please, leave a comment or e-mail me if you see examples of really lame ads fitting in one of the categories above or if you figure out a good name for the bad advertising awards.

EDIT: Thanks to Ryan, I discovered this great collection of future awarded campaigns. This inspired me the bogeyman award for the scarriest commercial and the Wolfgang Amadeus award for the lamest music

Do you really want to make us eat that?

May 8, 2007

Here’s a Belgian commercial for a new “spiderman burger”. Besides the ugly images of elastic cheese, the noises are really disgusting. I guess you reach the status superhero if you are able to eat (and digest) that. I would like to see the impact of this ad on purchase consideration.

 Well, I guess I’m just not in the target group…

Compass, I’ll pass

May 3, 2007

As expressed in this post, I was surprised by the musical choice of the last Jeep Compass commercial… I really enjoy this song (even if it sounds a little too much like an old Wallace collection track)

I’m the one who uploaded the vid on youtube and was contacted through my youtube inbox by Scaramouche000 who was looking for the title of the song. I couldn’t answer him but he contacted Jeep Belgium. They answered that the song was composed for the spot. Isn’t that amazing?

Unless I totally misheard the lyrics, it says

Hey girl

In the jungle of the city

No compassion, no mercy

Trouble is everywhere

It all goes with ups and downs, everywhere

Errrr??? What brand values is that supposed to carry?

I don’t swallow

April 27, 2007


At first glance, I thought the ad above was a fake, some kind of student joke… but no, it’s a real one. I admit you have to have guts to communicate with such a message and that many advertisers wouldn’t dare.

 Does that make a good ad? Well…. this reminds this quote from the movie “Les tontons flingueurs“: Les cons, ça ose tout. C’est même à ça qu’on les reconnait (“Idiots dare everything. It’s even thanks to that you recognize them“)

picture found via SHIMworld

My bitch eats soja

April 25, 2007

There was a very interesting discussion yesterday on CKs blog about cursing and incorrect vocabulary in hip hop. This inspired me a post about values carried by advertising.

I saw yesterday the TV spot below (the advertiser is Sojasun) on a major french network. It’s one (and not the worst) in a disgusting serie.

I really hate this commercial and don’t want this product in my fridge no matter what is taste. In another spot for the same brand, a father punishes his son, who hasn’t done anything wrong, just to steal his desert. This kind of communication disturbs me big time. Don’t get me wrong, I earn my salary thanks to advertising, I like disruptive communication and I’m not a politically correctness advocate but I don’t get why some values are used so much in advertising: greed, envy, jealousy, competition, revenge, humiliation, lack of citizenship, egoism, and other basic instincts. Twix (or was it rolo?) used the same mechanisms for their “too good to share” campaign.

I understand that advertising is based on archetypes and often transgression and that a 30 seconds format requires very simple messages but come on, there must be other ways.

To conclude on that point and counterbalance the anti-values, here’s a quote of the Dalai Lama : “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion”

Worst practice

March 14, 2007

Recently, I had to make a presentation about internet advertising impact. It’s always interesting to use worst practice cases to make your points. I showed this austrian advertising for Citroën (showcase format)


What was the process here? The advertiser sent a briefing to his agency. A creative guy, hired for his graphical talent made the ad and probable thought “Nice! It’s good enough for the advertiser”, his boss approved. Then, the add was probably sent to a communication guy at Citroën. He approved as well based on the feeling that the showcase would impact his objectives (sales, brand favourability,…). The media buyer invested on the main austrian portal site.

Why the hell are basic marketing principles often totally ignored for the online advertising?