Nothing sucks like an ad myth

Oy vey. I've spotted this in a few Swedish blogs recently, and then to top it all off someone mentioned it at work - the old "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux" myth. It goes a little something like this and can be found on countless funny pages, in silly list emails, and spoken during water cooler chats in offices around the world.

Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign, "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux".

The funny of course being that Swedes are unaware of the double entendre.

Here is the mythical ad poster.

(originally posted in the comments for "both of these ads really suck")

So lets be clear, it was not an American ad, it was a British advertising poster, and the pun was intended. Look, the Electrolux sucks so hard it explains the leaning tower of Pisa.

The ad agency that created it was Cogent Elliot - and this was one of the questions that had everyone stumped in the ad trivia game.

Sorry about the photocopy, but it's all I could get my hands on and many thanks to adlister Michiel who had this in his scrap book. The ad won UK awards back in 1991/1990 if anyone has creative teams credits. I want to put this ad myth to death already - the "nothing sucks like an Electrolux" ad was real but British. And don't let anyone tell you any different.

Snark Hunting even snarked about it when they read an article in the San Francisco Chronicle that "trot out the same old apocryphal tales of ad campaigns that got lost in translation."

What will it take to kill this myth?

Update Friday 14 November 2014 - Creative Director on this ad was Mike Fox! Thanks Cogent Elliot's twitter.

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Comments (11)

  • Richie M's picture
    Richie M (not verified)

    Jan 10, 2013
  • AnonymousJLP's picture
    AnonymousJLP (not verified)

    Mar 05, 2013
  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    Oct 16, 2013
  • Ray Craigie's picture
    Ray Craigie (not verified)

    Nov 25, 2013
  • Joe McKenna's picture
    Joe McKenna (not verified)

    You've all got in wrong!!!
    The line "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux" was first used by a subsidiary offshoot of the UK Electrolux company, who were based in South Africa. The then Marketing head honcho in the UK took the line to Cogent Elliott and asked them to develop it for the UK market, which they did. As to did it work .... well it took Electrolux to the brand leadership role so I guess you can say it worked. Who actually come up with the strapline in South Africa is not clear, rumour has it that it was the subsidary's advertising people.

    Oct 16, 2017
  • Dabitch's picture

    oh for fucks sake @Joe McKenna, The Creative Director was Mike Fox, the ad agency was Cogent Elliot, London U.K. as has been confirmed by Cogent Elliot. Try reading the article before commenting next time.

    Oct 16, 2017

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