marketing mishaps


Markee the Sad


More spanking used to sell

If you've been an AdLand visitor for a while you might remember Dab's post about WE Sweden's spank fashion ad that was withdrawn after complaints. Well, when I read about this distrubing bit of news regarding a game for the Young Designers Emporium today I thought I was having a flashback to 2003.


Overstock ads O-annoying notoriety gets noticed

Slate's Seth Stevenson seemingly has a crush on the Overstock.com lady, and so does the rest of the web. Or not. What's With That Overstock.com Ad?, yes what is with her? While Clayton dubbed it "Worst Attempt at Appearing All-Sexy-Like" ad of the year in the 2004 roundup the rest of the web can't seem to take their eyes off her. Seth's conclusion at slate:

I'm not saying this is a work of art. At base, this is a classic spokesperson spot, with an actor who looks at the camera and touts the product. My grade here is about brand awareness. Before Sabine's spots launched in October 2003, Overstock.com had a measly 12 percent brand recognition. By November 2004, recognition was at 46 percent. I know I remember the brand. And I know why. Love her or hate her, in the end it's all about Sabine.


The scent of Bin Laden

In 2002 we asked Would you wear Bin Ladin pants? because we had just spotted that Osamas half-bro Yeslam Binladin had the name as a trademark in Switzerland.


MSN Search incorporates past virals into new viral campaign

Instead of coming up with its own viral content, MSN Search's new campaign, MSNfound, takes existing virals and weaves them into a six-character narrative. Each character has a video lead-in and lead-out to an already-popular viral clip, including the stylings of David Bernal, one of the dancers in VW's "Gene" ad, and Virgin Mobile's Dog Judo.

To get to the clips, the user runs a search for a pre-detemined keyword, which yields a results page with the next piece of content embedded at the top. Ultimately, the viral clips lead the user back to each character's "journal".

Maureen McHugh, a freelance writer who worked on this campaign, wrote about the site in her blog, but the entry has mysteriously disappered.


We've been had by Ogilvy person pretending to be a student.

Bjoern at Site-9 Weblog spotted something iffy with the polite email from a marketing student. The email starts off with : "First of all, let me tell you how much I like your blog. I am a last year student at university and I hope to start working in advertising next year. Your blog is a real source of inspiration." and goes on to tell about the American Express interactive Billboard we posted about on Thursday.
Bjoern did a little header-reading on the emails to see where it came from, and when he compared to his site-stats, he saw that the same IP showed up in his server logs as tmp.ogilvy.com.
Do a

dig -x

and the answer is 
86318 IN    PTR     tmp.ogilvy.com.

In short, they suckered us! Ogilvy happens to be American Express' ad agency. I'll blame my lack of cynicism that day on the yearly deadline stress before the superbowl, I read the mail and took it at face value.

Well not really, I couldn't care less if they were a student, if they really did think this site was a source of inspiration or not - all I care about is the tip, and is it "report-worthy"? After sending a few images to the Amex billboard, including goatse as I mentioned in the comments I thought it was a fun little poster and posted about it. Someone at Amex server actually sifts through those images and makes sure goatse doesn't end up on the street after all, and that's pretty clever (though it might have been even more fun had the Goatse image-send worked - G-d knows it would have gone viral immediately then)


Triple deuce badlander combo, with a cherry on top.

Well folks, it happens - we know it happens all the time in creative offices worldwide - the idea diety waves her duality wand and presto, you're in Badland.

Today we look at Panasonic Wet/Dry Shavers vs Edge Shaving cream, Ford 500 vs Harley Davidson and Xbox vs the WWF. A dupliclaim hat trick!


"Salaries for Rights Clearance types just went up. Way up."

So said Jordan Stratford on adlist when he tipped us to the story of the model whose image was used for years without his permission on Taster's Choice coffee labels.


Citizens United thanks Hollywood A-list on billboards

Citizens United has booked billboard space near the near the Kodak Theatre (where the Acadamy Awards are held) for the month of February. The billboards that look like they have been art directed by a chimp with glaucoma thank Hollywood A-listers for their help getting President Bush reelected. Michael Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Ben Affleck, Martin Sheen, Chevy Chase, Barbara Streisand, and Sean Penn are the targets for this highly illogical campaign. (read more)


L'Oreal apologizes to customer for offending "pedophile vibes" ad

Proof that one lone complaint can kick up a shitstorm if it's done right is this story from Sweden. Sara who blogs at Hedgehog in a storm opened a magazine the other day to find a L'Oreal ad which sent "pedophile vibes", she reacted quite strongly to. She reported the ad to ERK, the Ethical Advertising watchdog of Sweden, and the Market Ethic advisors, but she didn't stop there. Sara who works as a children ombudsman also sent off press releases, and pretty soon she was contacted by SVT local news....

So far in the story, woman from target market 1, L'Oreal 0.


McDonald's: Between the buns of a Big Mac, there is special sauce.

World Champion spots a few pathetic attempts to sound hip in advertising that backfire... Notably, this McD flash banner, where "I'd hit it" is used in reference to a Big Mac. Have these people visited Claymores bizarre and bun-filled dreams? Did a mischievous copywriter sneak this one by? Or is it that they have no clue what "I'd hit it" means? The poorly phrased flash banner is below.