Bad Transit Ads, Sexy Halloween Edition

You may know that I collect bad advertising as I travel. Its a defensive reflex, turning what might otherwise could be an annoyance in to critique safari.  Airports are like museums of bad advertising. As always, I invite you to join me in this enterprise. Have fun, and please send me your bad ad analysis.

Does comparing one’s customers to witches ever work?
Kohler paid for creative and even a marketing tie-in with a Disney film. Unfortunatley, the concept is that their customer has something in common with an evil witch. Sure, the evil witch has a magic mirror, and Kohler’s voice-control veranda mirror might be kind of magic too.

This doesn’t change the premise of the ad, Kohler is comparing their customers to witches, evil ones at that. Besides, what exactly does a voice-control verdera mirror do? It would appear little more than provide a premise for a confusing ad that fails to promote its product. In this photo the model isn’t looking at the mirror, nor are we. The product is an extra in its own ad.

Can you attract men to a restaurant using an ass joke?

Like the Kohler ad, this restaurant ad found on the side of a trash can calls more attention to its creative than the product it promotes.  The brief to the creative agency might have asked them to find a way to get guys to come to CHLOE, a cute restaurant that women tend to eat healthy food at.

No one who goes our for a sandwich does it for bun. Rather than promoting the food, we get copy that is a rap music reference that doubles as an ass joke. There are likely a lot of men who wouldn’t be caught dead standing next to this sign. And advertising good quality veggie food on trash cans is fraught, even without bun jokes.

Offensive or weird? This ad is ten feet tall.

UsefulArts reader, and known ad-watching troublemaker, James Gardner pointed this one out.

Wouldn’t this be so much better with Amanda Palmer beating the shit of of a keyboard and it withstanding her piano-slaying titanhood?  Instead, an anonymous model gives the ad visual flair, (read: sex appeal) by associating the product and the model. While older men may ultimately write the checks for such a purchase, a wife likely drives demand for a classic piano. Notice the ankle braclet on the right leg, I suspect the wife would also. They could give a smart wink to savvy viewers by adding a simple five word disclaimer: “woman in dress not included“. There, free creative. ;>

Morgan, Keep Your Passion Out of Home

Again, the image over-shadows the value being offered.  Morgan has a phone, social media accounts, a smirk and passion, baby. It feels like there’s a covert call to action to  swipe right.

Sidenote: I’ve found undergraduates use the word “passion” and “uninformed” interchangeably when speaking of their interests. I have a passionate interest in politics, means I know nothing about it but think it would be cool to try. Perhaps a copy editor could have suggested a better attribute than passion to be the feature of what we learn of Mr. Franklin.

GFE jobs. Get ’em While They’re Hot!

Apparently there’s a company named GF Enterprises, and they own restaurants.  Said company owns this website address where they take job applications.

We also live in a world where there is a TV show and a movie about prostitutes who provide Girl Friend Experiences.  Entering those three letters on Google Trends offers predictive fills for the 2009 movie and massages in Sheffield, England. Google Trends doesn’t suggest any fast food associations.

I could imagine the GFE employment site getting a lot of singe view web visits, as those seeking GFE jobs realize they’re on a fast food recruiting site.


If you like SATAN, you might also like Public TV

This isn’t an ad, but its quite the endorsement. Apparently, people excited by the Dark Lord also might like This Old House or Dr. Who. Since this is written on a traffic sign which is on my commute, I’m counting it as travel advertising. And I’m starting to find it surprisingly persuasive.


Strip club identifies with Amazon – trademark layers twitch buy dont strike

Speaking of passion… Its not Amazon’s fault that their headquarters just happens to be near a strip club.

I can imagine someone in the legal department reflecting on whether this use creates a false impression of endorsement. Unfortunately, the sign is just making a statement of fact. Though, they could have added a trademark registration mark to the use of that name. Oh well, in for a penny…

I hope you’ve enjoyed this collecting of advertising curiosities. If you see something clever, or notably misguided give a shout.  I’m always curious what people notice about the messages that wait for them on their travels.

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