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When Marketing Campaigns Go Wrong -The Worst Ad Placements Ever!

Updated on August 12, 2013

Quit Smoking Ad Goes... Terribly Wrong

Quit Smoking Ad: "Take control, Take action... QUIT SCHOOL"
Quit Smoking Ad: "Take control, Take action... QUIT SCHOOL" | Source

The Best Way To Stop Smoking is to QUIT School??

A stop smoking ad on a school bus suggest the best action to take is to QUIT SCHOOL?? A power shake advertised on a magazine seems to be made from… diarrhea coming out a sexy woman´s behind with a cold problem???

These are only some of the worst ad placements ever that failed to pass editors controls and became the scrutiny of social talk for days.

Ad placement in alternative mediums other than TV commercials, radio and newspaper create an opportunity to catch target audiences attention from their daily routine. However, when taking a brand ´s message into the street it is exposed to the surrounding visual contamination and different perspectives of the message can be contemplated and wrongly interpreted.



Turkish Airlines Ad Fail

A miss positioned Ad from Turkish Airlines on a mall escalator gives the impression their planes fly downwards.
A miss positioned Ad from Turkish Airlines on a mall escalator gives the impression their planes fly downwards. | Source

Turkish Airlines Airplanes... Go Down?

An airline featuring its iconic airplane should never ever, place an Ad facing down the side of an escalator in the mall. This unfortunate ad agency mistake caught the eye of many bystanders, which shared the image without mercy.

Turkish Airlines got plenty of viral views from their ad, and many would think this misstep actually generated free publicity but most people talking about it weren´t planning their next trip on their planes.

Broken Home Ad Fail: "Where is Daddy?"

An emotional street ad portraying child asking mother “Where is Daddy?”  followed by a sexual gentlemen house ad giving an automatic answer to the girl´s question
An emotional street ad portraying child asking mother “Where is Daddy?” followed by a sexual gentlemen house ad giving an automatic answer to the girl´s question | Source

Street Ads That Create Funny Story Lines

Sometimes is not the direction of the ad that goes wrong. The piece can be perfect but the angle in which the viewer visualizes it turns the story into something very different. It can create funny juxtapositions with other ads or elements that build up unwanted endings that twist the brand´s message making it a satire, usually of dark humor.

Passing cars watch a social awareness street ad about broken homes that reads, “Where´s Dad?”, only to continue with the next street ad about “Rhino Gentlemen Club”, which connected implies Dad is having some fun with the ladies. Read from the right distance, both Ads fill the viewer’s scope presenting the complete story line that turned an emotional message into an obvious negative conclusion.

Suicide Sister Magazine Ad Fail

An emotional magazine article describing the story of an unfortunate suicide seems to be mocked by a hair remover ad on the next page.
An emotional magazine article describing the story of an unfortunate suicide seems to be mocked by a hair remover ad on the next page. | Source

Advertising campaigns that managed to turn an unfortunate negative outcome into a success

Could ad agencies make a little twist to their advertising mistakes and turn them into a big win? Leave example cases of this on the comment section below.

See results

Magazine Ads Biggests Mistakes

When placing a product´s Ad in a magazine, be sure the ad on the neighboring page doesn´t create a negative connection with yours.

In a chick magazine, an afflicted woman narrates the story of her sister´s death. The side ad about Oops hair color remover presents a half page image of a blond woman simply saying OOPS. Once again, the emotional story on the left seems to be considered funny to the blond on the next page.

Starbucks Van Fail: "Starbucks Sucks"

When opening the Van´s door with Starbucks written on it, the words change to Sucks.
When opening the Van´s door with Starbucks written on it, the words change to Sucks. | Source

Ad Placement Rule of Thumb

So what´s to learn from these terrible ad placements? Is not just about the right headlines, image, or copy. Probably the most important aspect of Ad Placement is the surrounding environment itself and how the audience will interact with it.

If advertising executives can learn from the viral aspects of these failed ad placements and make their ads interact in a positive way with their surroundings surprising people (just like these do), they would generate a killer win in respect with brand awareness and social buzz.

And Now "The Worst 25 Ad Placements Ever Video!

Liked This? Then I Recommend....

Comments

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    • zeke2100 profile image

      zeke2100 4 years ago

      Your article is very entertaining with these pictures of advertisements that fail. Good job.

    • duffsmom profile image

      P. Thorpe Christiansen 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      Enjoyed this very much, well done.

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 4 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Thanks duffmom

      I left you a suggestion on your answer about not making money on hubpages. Like to hear back from you

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 4 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Thanks zeke. I love marketing and hope to write more about it.. the funny and the educational.

      Good Hubbing

    • MargaritaEden profile image

      MargaritaEden 4 years ago from Oregon

      These are funny, specially the one with the plane :)

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      David,

      I always get a kick out of these, sometimes done in a small segment at the beginning of a Late Night Cable Show, but these I haven't heard or seen. Too funny. I'm not sure which I like the best but it was probably between "Where's Daddy?" and "Starbucks Sucks".

      Voted up and Funny

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 4 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      People always have a way of finding the worst from the good intentions companies have... and they always have an iphone around.

    • SoundNFury profile image

      Michael Valencia 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hahaha these are great! Voted up and funny. :)

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      David,

      This is true, the same goes for horrible celebrity pictures. I've seen just about every perfectly beautiful celeberity at their worst... gut hanging out, hair a mess, a big zit on their nose. Too many cameras around; but at least it creates some enjoyment for the rest of us! :-)

    • jmartin1344 profile image

      jmartin1344 3 years ago from Royal Oak, Michigan

      I work in Marketing so I really understand the importance of good placement, and taking care to double check everything for even the silliest of mistakes! Some of these are funny and some are just down right crazy!!

      Nice hub!

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 3 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Thanks martin,

      Do you also post some marketing hubs?

      I see you are an aspiring filmmaker. I guess I´m a frustrated one :( I studied international business and finally decided I liked marketing; But if I could start over again I would go for filmmaking.

    • luisj305 profile image

      luisj305 3 years ago from Florida

      This was a funny read, thanks for posting it David.

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 3 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Thanks for your comments

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 3 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Thanks Luis. Any good read you recommend from your profile?

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 3 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      They are. Pictures seem to be the most interesting part of Hubs, at least that is what I have found out.

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 3 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Thanks for your comments.

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 3 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Oh, that was a big fail. It supposedly got corrected some time after this picture went viral

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 3 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Jajaja, yes those are funny

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 3 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Thanks, much apreciated.

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 3 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Thanks for your feedback martin

    • vibesites profile image

      vibesites 3 years ago from United States

      Hahahahaha. I wish you feature more of these mis-positioned ad statements... I like the "Where's Daddy?" the best! :))

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 3 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Yeah its hilarious. This actually was my first hub ever. People love it, but it doesn´t bring in any traffic at all. So lately I have stuck to product review hubs which might be boring for the community to read but bring in the Google traffic. But, yes, I´ll probably make more of this to keep my hubs fun.

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 20 months ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Thanks, unfortunately this hub receives very little traffic :(

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 20 months ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Thanks, I see the community loves it

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 20 months ago from Medellin, Colombia

      And people will interpret things however they like. Poor advertisers, is not their fault

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 20 months ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Yeah, its the price they got to pay for being adored bu us!

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 19 months ago

      a unique hub

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 19 months ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Indeed Sujaya.

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