Misfortune smiles on the advertiser

6 May

There’s been a trend over the past decade to use gallows humour in advertising: situations where some poor slob ends up getting the wrong end of the stick. But it sells the product.

Sometimes these cross the line, but it’s my line I’m speaking of, and we all have our own.

Generally speaking, the younger the target market, the more aggressive the advertiser – and its agency – gets in pushing limits.

I have no doubt that these ads I’ve assembled below have upset someone, somewhere, at some stage. If you can personally relate to any of the scenarios, you may not dig them. If I had just been held up at gun-point, maybe the hair dryer ad wouldn’t work on me. Maybe I would write an angry email!

What they have in common: the visual is doing all the work. The logo just pays it off and fills in the missing piece of the pie.

Any of them cross your line?


2 Responses to “Misfortune smiles on the advertiser”

  1. Chelsie Aichelberger May 7, 2010 at 9:59 am #

    Yes, the train tracks one does a little… because I was once in a similar situation and my heart still freaks out when I hear or see a train!

  2. dougbrowncreative May 7, 2010 at 10:09 am #

    The dangerous thing for advertisers is that a seemingly harmless scenario may be a horror story for someone out there. A cartoon bear wiping his butt with Charmin may evoke scarring memories of being caught in the wild without toilet paper! It’s a crap shoot.

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