Holiday Inn - Class Reunion / Bob Johnson (1997) - 0:30 (USA)

This ad was pulled only two days after it aired the superbowl - since it received so many complaints. "New nose" "new chest" and so on, as it turns out this hot lady used to be Bob Johnsson.

The Mastercard-like upgrade of Bob Johnson is a metaphor for Holiday Inn's upgrades, and they were hoping to attract young business executives back to the chain.

As noted in our top five pick of the worst Super Bowl ads of all time, this ad managed to offend some people.

Holiday Inn soon pulled the ad - and today its widely reported that Gay, lesbian and transgender activist groups threatened boycott, but all I can find is a 97 NYT article that states the ad "offended some people," and plenty more archived news sources with the same exact quote. "Some people" were offended, then. The rest of the Holiday Inn campaign focused on their $1 billion upgrades ran as planned, and there was enough press about this single superbowl ad to keep the brand name top of mind for some time.

Client: Holiday Inn

Ad agency: Fallon McElligott

Adland® is supported by your donations alone. You can help us out by buying us a Ko-Fi coffee.
Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
Files must be less than 5 MB.
Allowed file types: jpg jpeg gif png wav avi mpeg mpg mov rm flv wmv 3gp mp4 m4v.
Dabitch's picture

Dont you just love his name?

NoCloset's picture

.... her name? Yes I do.

Dabitch's picture

Yaknow, each year during superbowl season, this ad is listed in news articles as one of the superbowl flops because it upset middle america and had to be withdrawn, but here it scores high points. Funny that.

Mets82's picture

I can't wait to see this spot. I don't remember this spot nor do I remember the controversary over it.