Flat-Out Offensive Ad Campaigns



Working in radio means that around 90% of what we do is marketing–so while I don’t claim to be an expert–taking a look at these campaigns makes me want to scream: “what the HECK were you thinking?”


“The Lolita” bed for pre-teen girls, anyone?  Dead serious.  This brilliant marketing ploy came from Woolworth’s–naming their new girlie bed/desk set “The Lolita.”  We all remember the book from Vladimir Nabokov, right?


Oh, while we’re on the subject of offensive items for young ladies, let’s address last summer’s offering from JC Penney–a t-shirt that reads I’m Too Pretty To Do Homework, So My Brother Has To Do It For Me.


Don’t worry, Offensive leaves no one out–crossing gender and racial lines to tick you off.  The deeply unfortunate Adidas “Shackles” Shoes  that were heavily marketed to the African-American community until Reverend Jesse Jackson held a press conference to ask Adidas “What ARE you thinking?”


While we’re on the subject of running shoes, here’s my all-time favorite.  Enjoy this  press clipping from 1997, won’t you?

Reebok International Ltd. said Wednesday it will change the ‘nightmarish’ name of one of its women’s running shoes.

Reebok has shipped 53,000 pairs of its “Incubus” shoes in the last year, but found out only Tuesday that the name is that of an evil spirit that rapes women in their sleep.

“We apologize,” said Dave Fogelson, director of public relations with Reebok. “Certainly it is very inappropriate.”

He said the company found out about the embarassing name after running an advertisement for it in an Arizona newspaper.

“Obviously it became very apparent to us yesterday why nobody else was using the name,” he said.


BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  Want more delightfully offensive product marketing plans?  Visit MSN Money by clicking here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Be Socialable, Share

You Might Also Like


2 responses to “Flat-Out Offensive Ad Campaigns”

  1. Shane R. says:

    One of my favorite ad screw-ups is the McDonalds “I’d hit it” burger ad. It’s #10 on the list here http://consumerist.com/2007/03/top-10-worst-marketing-gaffes-flops-and-disasters.html

    • todderinfav5admin says:

      Don’t you LOVE that one? I couldn’t find a picture, so I couldn’t add it.
      Seriously? You didn’t have ANYONE under the age of 50 in your ad agency to explain what “I’d hit that” means? Hah! I love your taste…

Leave a Reply

Find all of our sweepstakes on Hypersweep.com