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Stupid or subliminal? Epic but funny ad fails

Updated on July 28, 2011

If you're a regular 'net surfer you've probably come across sites dedicated to revealing, discussing or simply laughing about subliminal advertisements. These kind of things are found frequently and make for debates -sometimes intellectually provoking, other times downright angry. In case you've not seen any subliminal advertisements before the following is a prime example: it is a poster ad for a product we're all familiar with, but one for which the visual expression of the ad leads the mind to think about something other than what any advertiser is supposed to be selling. Now we can't be sure with this one that it was purposely done, but anyone with eyes can't help but wonder:

That one may not be deliberate, but it's pretty easy to tell when advertisers are being purposefully subliminal. Here's an example with no room for debate:

Our local TV stations regularly run ads for a certain car dealership that raises the eyebrows of everyone in my family. Now I have no doubt the subliminal part is purely unintentional, but geesh...just pay attention to the slogan at the end of this one commercial. This dude shouts it out at on every single one of these he appears in. Tell me if you, too, wonder just what the heck the commercial makers were thinking -or smoking?- when they came up with this slogan!!

I get most tickled by ads and photos that were taken with the most innocent of intent, and yet you don't have to be a giggling seventh grader to tell the innocent factor met epic fail. Here are a few examples:

Even national leaders get in on the act

Stupid or subliminal these ads do manage to make you remember the products or subject matter. So I guess even when unintentionally done the old adage is true that advertising pays off.

I just hope Tommy Chong won't be dropping by Friendship Ford any time soon. My parents do all their car dealing--I mean TRADING- there.


Submit a Comment

  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    7 years ago from Tennesee

    Thanks for dropping by, Lenore :)

    This may come as a shock but I have never once seen Grease. I have listened to the soundtrack and I've even listened to the movie on a radio broadcast but I have not seen the film, lol. Now you've got me interested.

  • Lenore Robinson profile image

    Lenore Robinson 

    7 years ago from Delaware

    LOL! Loved "Jimmy's Shoe Repair!" I think that the hot dog ad is probably deliberate. It reminded me of the drive-in movie scene in "Grease." Travolta sings about "Sandy" in front of the movie screen while a refreshment stand advertisement rolls. It's all about the hot dog getting into the bun! The scene plays out through the whole song!

    When talking about the film, Travolta always refers to the scene as "brilliant!" Thanks for sharing! :)

  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    7 years ago from Tennesee

    Thanks nycgrl, and I will be sure to do that!

  • nycgrl profile image


    7 years ago from New York

    Working in marketing I have been a part of meetings where stuff like these ads get discussed, its crazy the things that come out of these strategy sessions. Check out "banned skittles 2011 commercial" on youtube, you'll get quite a laugh!

  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    7 years ago from Tennesee

    Thanks Husky1970, glad you enjoyed :)

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    So true! What makes an advertisement effective can be quite different and unusual. Voted up and funny. Thanks for a few laughs.


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