We all love a good fail, because there isn’t anything that quite brightens our day like laughing over the silliness and absurdity of others. In this special edition of advertising fails, we’ve found the best ad fails that will make you double-take, gasp, and laugh your face off. We dare you to get to the end of this list without shaking your head at the people who thought it was a good idea to write what they wrote and how they wrote it … bet’ya can’t!
If you travel through certain parts of America, you might notice that there are areas where religion plays a huge part in their lifestyle. Yep, as you turn every corner you will be greeted with quotes from the Bible, religious advice, or just the word ‘Jesus.’ We’re not sure what this particular roof sign was trying to say, but we’re pretty sure it wasn’t what the sign actually says. Unless Jesus is for lease. You never know. Could happen.
Red wine, anyone?
Don’t get us wrong; we love a big ol’ glass of red wine just as much as the next guy (and he REALLY loves red wine), but there’s just something about this bottle that makes us a little uneasy. We love the branding, and we even appreciate that this particular wine uses four types of Nova Scotia grapes. However, if that is the selling point, why not call it ‘4 Grapes?’ Although we’re sure it’s lovely, 4 Skins just don’t do it for us, unfortunately…
Let it snow
It’s fair to say that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, and there’s nothing more exciting than buying new decorations for your home. This unwitting customer just wanted to buy a tree skirt for their fine pine, when their eyes were bombarded with a rude word (tee-hee). Through our experience of retail, we know that folding is pretty darn boring, but we can imagine this is one way to make it fun. Let it snow, y’all.
At first glance, this might not seem like an advertising fail – but when you look into the context of it, this is one hefty muck-up. Considering this paper looks like it has come from the campus itself, the editors really should have learned a little bit more about their students before this went to print. With black and ethnic minority students making up the majority of the student population at Howard University, this is one heck of an advertising fail. Welcome back, though.
Bigger and better
In a world full of obesity and diabetes, health experts and governments across the world are trying to do anything to stop this epidemic reaching even more people. Because of this, they are trying to reduce the number of sugary drinks people buy. Unfortunately, big drinks corporations and small business make a heck load of money from their drinks, so they aren’t going to give up. In fact, they’re going to make their products bigger and better. Boom.
A double whammy
If you were lucky enough to witness this epic advertising fail, you were lucky enough to experience the double whammy. Yep, as you were driving towards the sign, you were able to experience the craving for a good ol’ fashioned barbecue and a beer (which is exactly how they wanted you to feel, mwah ha ha), but if you happened to look behind you as you passed this sign, you would have been greeted with something much more…interesting.
Come fly with me
Whether you’re watching television, driving along the freeway or walking through the mall, there’s a high chance you’ll see AT LEAST one advertisement for vacations, hotels or flights. Of course, we’re totally fine with that, because most of the time these commercials offer beautiful beaches, fluffy clouds, and images of exotic destinations you’ll want to visit. However, Turkish Airlines didn’t really think their placement through. Although we’re sure they comply with safety standards, this doesn’t fill us with much hope. We’ll walk, thanks.
If it ain’t broke
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ but for some unknown reason, this drinks company decided to ‘change the game’ and change the whole phrase while they were at it (as you can tell, we don’t approve). Unfortunately, we now live in a world where we take advertisements and commercials as gospel, and we let them dictate our lives – so this bus shelter was just asking for it really, wasn’t it? It was the advert’s fault.
And the award for the most hilariously placed advertisements goes to… these guys! Yep, when you hire out billboard space, you don’t really have a say in who goes next to or near you. Thankfully, the humor gods were feeling particularly funny when these two fates aligned, and these two billboards ran on from each other – because this really is something special. At least you now know where Daddy is going all the time with a load of $1 bills in his pocket…
The scary thing about the internet nowadays is that it stores all of your information, and works out your likes and dislikes based on the websites and videos you watch. Yuh-huh, it’s super creepy. However, it seems computers aren’t always the smartest when it comes to the time and place – because we’re pretty sure the person watching a video about a sinking cruise ship would want to be inundated with 75% off cruise deals. Although that is a good deal.
There’s nothing more exciting than rocking up to the drive-thru, to see that they are advertising discounted food. Yet, things get even better when they advertise FREE food – because really, who is going to turn down free food? However, it seems this Taco Bell didn’t read their emails in time to offer their customers free tacos that day, so advertised the deal the next day instead… when they weren’t offering free tacos. We bet that was an emotional rollercoaster for drive-thru customers.
Should’ve gone to Specsavers
If you’ve ever taken a trip across the pond and visited the UK, you might have realized that the whole population (okay, not everyone) gets their glasses from a place called Specsavers – and they actually have some pretty hilarious television commercials to book. However, it was a bad day at the office when this person bought billboard space, because if their £25 glasses look like that (even if they don’t), we don’t want them. Thanks, but no thanks.
This is how we do it
As Montell Jordan once said, ‘this is how we do it’ (yep, you can sing it). However, we’ve always been pretty confused as to what it is he is really ‘doing’ – although we think we’ve now figured it out, thanks to this bus. We’re no experts when it comes to orthondontia, but we’re pretty sure that is not ‘how you do’ it in terms of straightening teeth. Unless bus air vents are the way forward. We don’t judge.
It’s fair to say that nobody likes going grocery shopping, yet we STILL have to waste a whole heap of our lives buying eggplants, milk, and food that just eventually ends up in the trash can. Yet, grocery shopping gets a little easier when you can have a little chuckle to yourself – and this sign is guaranteed to make you lol. Unless you’re a parent yourself, you have no idea what babies need… but now you do (just kidding, this is NOT what babies need).
Kids with gas
In today’s day and age, some of the top scientists and engineers are working on new and exciting projects to make their cars more environmentally friendly and fuel efficient. We can now see electric cars on our roads, some cars are powered by water, and there are even some cars that are fueled by kids with gas. Wait… what? Nope, we didn’t know this was a thing, but at least it keeps them busy, and they can eat for free. Bonus.
I take a sheet
If you work in advertising, you’ll know the importance of checking your billboard, checking it twice, and then checking it another five times just to make sure it can’t be misconstrued. If you want to check some more, you could even show someone else, or read your tagline aloud to really make sure it works. Unfortunately, the people at Sheets didn’t do this, resulting in this epic advertising fail. It’s hilarious. Read it aloud; we dare you.
No matter where you live in the world, you will always be greeted with a billboard within at least a mile of your house (unless y’know, you live in the mountains of Peru). However, billboards require a lot of upkeep, and you’ll often come across one that is looking a little worse for wear, and peeling to reveal the poster underneath. Normally, this is a bit of an eyesore, but passers-by got a bit of a fright when they said hello to this purrr-fectly placed kitty…
You’ve been served
For most of us, it’s our worst fear to be tapped on the shoulder and greeted with the three devastating words, ‘you’ve been served.’ However, we’re sure most people wouldn’t complain when their summons came from Mohammed Ibrahim’s firm. Whether this is an example of smart and clever advertising or this guy just doesn’t know the meaning behind ‘MILF,’ we’re not sure, but it’s definitely given us a laugh or two. Well done, Mohammed, well done indeed.
For some major brands, they’re so comfortable with their slogan, their company name and their logo that they don’t even think about the logistics of it all. Of course, we all know that Starbucks is one of the largest coffee chains in the world, but we do have to doubt their attention to detail after this advertising fail. Really? Is this fo’real? SURELY you would see what the truck looked like with the door open? Poor effort, Starbucks. You suck.
Most of us take to the roads at least once a day to go to work, go to the grocery store, go to a friend’s house, or even go to the gym (eugh). Although we try to avoid accidents at all times, the road is an unpredictable mistress. Unfortunately, this pickup truck was involved in a pile-up which caused a pretty rough dent in his back bumper, but this advertising sign cleared it up for the insurance company. It was CLEARLY the work of pool car experts.
A million ways
There’s nothing we love more than settling down after a long day of work to watch a good ol’ movie. Although there are hundreds of them to choose from, we must admit we have a little soft spot for Seth MacFarlane (who doesn’t?) Although we have no qualms about the fact that this advertisement was on buildings and billboard’s before the release of this movie, they should really have checked the billboard placement before they stuck it up. Kinda awkward.
When you’re browsing the web, you probably notice your computer or laptop screen filled with advertisements for all kinds of services and products, including vacations, beauty products, and more. Most of the time, these advertisements are completely random, and you have no clue what will turn up on your screen. Yet, while reading an article about smearing feces over someone’s face (yep, it really happened), this poor internet user had no idea this epic advertising fail would pop up…
Unfortunately, the internet hilarities don’t stop there. Although these advertisements are often just ironic in the moment, there are other instances where we get our back up about government spies, internet tracking, and a whole load of stuff that wouldn’t be out of place in a James Bond movie. In this case, a person with Anatidaephobia (the fear that you are being watched by a duck) was searching their symptoms, when an advertisement of a duck came onto their screen. Not cool.
While we’re driving along the road, we do everything we can to remember our road safety and keep our vehicles, ourselves and others out of harm’s way. However, when you pass a huge billboard, you often take your eyes off the road for a moment to check it out. Unfortunately, this momentary blip can sometimes cause accidents, and the Rotary Club of Accra-Legon wanted to put a stop to this – and tried getting their message across with a billboard. Right.
We’d love it, too
One of the best ways to get the attention of drivers and potential customers is to use humor to your advantage. In the past, various companies have used this within their billboard campaigns, to hilarious results. Yet, in our opinion, nothing is better than this billboard by Ray-Ban. As a popular sunglasses brand, they have picked THE BEST possible slogan to promote their awesome glasses. Yep, we’d love them to sit on our faces, too.
Weighing up the options
When it comes down to it, we just really, really, really love fast food. After all, what’s not to love? However, there are some people – like the people who work for heart.org – who think we should cut down on the amount of fast food we eat because one in three people die from heart disease. On the other hand, you can get 2 for $3 croissant sandwiches, so you really need to weigh up your options.
A fine education
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for your whole life, there’s a high chance you’ve been through the education system, or are currently studying at a public school. Of course, we all need to learn new skills and learn the ways of the world, but there are some people who just really couldn’t give a darn about education. Ironically, one of those students later went on to design billboards just like this one. You’ll know when you see it.
Miserable Psychos E
In today’s day and age, Hollywood is all about the reinvention. We’ve seen various reboots of classic movies, revivals and even sequels – and we’re totally into it. However, it seems Hollywood big-shots are now moving into a new stratosphere: the art of hybrid movies. In this case, the men and women behind the hugely successful Les Miserables production have teamed up with the cast of Psycho to bring you….Miserable Psychos (man, we really wish this was true).
Wherever you go in the world, you will always be greeted with warning signs about the effects of smoking. Whether you are buying cigarettes from the store, looking at the packaging, or attempting to smoke in a public area. Yet, it’s very uncommon to thank people for smoking. Y’know, unless you work for a funeral home and cemetery and work is pretty quiet over the summer months. We don’t blame them for advertising their business, but maybe this is a little too obvious.
Advertisements on buses are becoming increasingly common, and it seems that you can’t walk down the street without being bombarded with a product or service. Although they work extremely well, big brands can’t guarantee that their products will be seen in the best light – especially where the weather is involved. We can’t imagine many people will want to buy these undergarments after this dreadful advertising fail. Y’know, unless they really love to wash underpants in their free time.
In a click
We’re no experts in advertising, but we do know the sheer importance of your font choice. For starters, your customers have to be able to read what you’re trying to sell them. Secondly, it has to be appealing. Thirdly, it HAS to look like what it’s really trying to say. If you’re looking for what not to do, you need look no further, because this is the prime example of someone taking a step back and looking at their work. Yes, it says ‘click’.
We all love Tay-Tay
When it comes to our music tastes, it’s fair to say that we all have our guilty pleasures. Whether you love a bit of One Direction or Marilyn Manson, it’s totally down to you. However, it’s fair to say that our guilty pleasure just has to be Taylor Swift – and we’re not ashamed to admit it. Yet, there are some people who will try and keep their love for Tay-Tay a secret, and their love comes out in all different ways…
Whether you live in the United States or not, there’s no chance that you CAN’T get caught up in the politics – especially during the election campaigns. As part of their road to the White House, the candidates always use advertisements, billboards and flyers to get their message across. In fact, they even use buses to their advantage. However, someone really didn’t think this idea through when they created this bus design. Those eyes are pretty darn funny though.
Ice cool refreshments
Although it may be pretty dark and dismal right now, there’s nothing quite like getting yourself hyped up for the summer and getting in the mood for the heat. Unfortunately, we’d advise against buying any of these ice pops, as this guy looks like he has been smashed by a pineapple under the sea, rather than using it as his home. Yep, this is a fine example of false advertising. Sorry, Spongebob, you’re just not ‘cool’ enough.
From our time out in the field (okay, at the coffee shop) we’ve learned that using moving objects as your advertising canvas really isn’t a good idea. For starters, if they move too fast you can’t read what they’re advertising, but if they also move in a different way, the whole thing can be ruined. In this case, it looks as if Yves has used a Snapchat filter to alter his face – when in reality, someone has just wound the window of the car down. Incredible.
Jesus is watching you
If you’re from a religious family, or a religious side of town, you’ll know that you can’t travel anywhere without seeing religious phrases, religious symbols, or just gentle reminders about God and religion in general. Most of the time, these advertisements and billboards are placed completely at random, but there are other times when their location is almost too good to be true – like this one in front of the adult video store. Could it get any more perfect?
A trip to the store
One of the best things about advertising signs is that they can look totally different during the day to how they look at night. By day, we can assume this neighborhood grocer is called something quaint and wonderful. Yet, by night, it’s a whole new kettle of fish. We most certainly do not want to harm our friendly neighborhood grocer, but some people take signs a little too literally. We hope that won’t be the case with this place.
The Walking Death
Of course, death is no laughing matter – but you have to laugh at the irony of some of these epic advertising fails. We’re pretty sure those visiting the Co-Operative Funeralcare would like to see an advertisement for The Walking Dead (AKA greatest show in the world) on their way to bury their loved ones, but the advertising company really couldn’t have picked a more ironic placement for this TV show advertisement. Yep, that is a funeral parlor.
Nowadays, we’re so consumed by technology, we’re constantly waiting for the next console or device to be released so we can waste all of our money on it (yay!) Thanks to new technological advancements and brilliant advertising campaigns, major brands are now using humongous props of their products to adorn the streets, with the hope that they will work and entice customers. At least, that’s the theory. In reality, things aren’t so simple. Technology, ey? Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.
Sometimes, advertising fails don’t even come from the brand or company itself. Instead, they come from the store that sells them. You might have noticed that when you go to the grocery store, the product descriptions are often cut off or shortened as the labels are often short of space. Although this, in theory, is the best way to do it, these shortened names can often lead to a few hilarious labels you might not have come across…
A wonderful day
Unfortunately, big brands and stores cannot guarantee that their advertisements will be ready and working 24/7. Sometimes, signs are vandalized, run out of power, or are damaged in some way. Because of this, you often see neon signs that spell different words during the day and the night – just like this one. Not only does the sign now spell something pretty rough and ready, the tagline underneath just makes it utterly hilarious. Could it be the start of something wonderful?
When you see an advertising campaign, you like to hope that the product or service they are offering is just as good in the pictures as they are in real life. Of course, it’s impossible to take note of everything on offer to consumers, but at least the people who buy from this energy company will know that their ‘5-hour energy’ promise is correct. The men in the van must have used up their 5 hours, and are now recharging their batteries…
All men must die
Yep, it’s another awkward one. In today’s day and age, we’re overrun with billboards and adverts for TV shows and movies, and those that buy the advertising space and those that put the posters up never really take into account their surroundings. Unfortunately, this poster for Game of Thrones that states that ‘All men must die’ just happens to be above a sign for a residential care home for the elderly. Not exactly the most subtle.
No matter where you go in the world, there will always be naughty gentlemen’s club in certain areas. Although they normally draw in their customers on their own merit, they still advertise their services for passers-by to notice. However, this club didn’t realize that their chosen advertising spot was right underneath a sign that says, ‘the blood of Jesus…cleanseth us from all sin.’ Slightly awkward. At least we know there is truck parking and yummy daily specials.
Each year, many countries around the world celebrate the men that helped bring them to life, and present gifts on Father’s Day. However, choosing the right gift can be pretty tricky. After years of buying bottles of beers, joke cards and football jerseys, you want to buy something special – so what do you buy? Well, we’d recommend not getting sucked in by this advertisement in the paper, otherwise you might not be able to look your dad in the eyes ever again.
Full steam straight ahead
At various points in your life, you may find yourself at a crossroads. You may be wondering whether to take the new job, you may be wondering whether your new boyfriend is the right man for you – or you might be wondering whether you fancy taking a trip around the corner to say hello to the world of Diabetes, or carrying on full steam straight ahead to check out McDonald’s new dollar menu. Well, we know which one we would pick.
See your teeth as we do
As a customer checking out billboards on the regular, we can safely say that we love simpler designs that don’t overcomplicate things. After all, you’re just whizzing past it in the car – this isn’t reading hour. Nevertheless, some companies just don’t think that way and think that turning their image and their tagline upside down will really help business. Well, we have some news for you, Aspen Dental, it doesn’t help business. It makes you look silly.
Not actual size
Let’s be honest; our dream world would be one very similar to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. We want to surround ourselves with giant candy cane trees, chocolate lakes, and edible wallpaper. Yet, the one thing we want more than anything else is to eat giant hot dogs as big as a horse (who’s with me?!) It seem we’re not alone in this request, as one superstore have had to assure customers that their beef hot dogs are NOT the same size as their photos.
It’s fair to say that life can be tough sometimes, and we often find ourselves researching motivational quotes and phrases to keep us going. Yep, the last thing we really want to do is give up – but sometimes it is a struggle. We soon learn to ‘keep calm and carry on,’ to ‘climb the highest mountain’ and ‘always try our best.’ However, not everyone wants to keep calm. Other people want to just give up…like this truck. We feel you.
Sometimes, it’s best to keep your advertising billboards short and sweet. Rather than beat around the bush, companies just need to get to point and tell it like it – just like this billboard. In fact, this funeral home has got the whole billboard thing spot on, because they’re totally right. At the end of the day, we DO only live once. Of course, this sucks for us, but it’s great for Wilks Funeral Home because they will constantly be in business.
A professional job
Okay, this one makes us REALLY uncomfortable. If you’re the kind of person that fancies yourself as a business owner, it makes sense to form a business around something you’re passionate about. If you’re a baker at heart, you wouldn’t run a gym. It’s simple, really. Unfortunately, the person who owns this business obviously isn’t a fan of proper signs and lettering – as you’d think they would know how to spell their own company name. Y’know, just a suggestion.
I love my dog
If you’re the kind of person who loves animals, there’s a high chance your whole house is covered in cute and cuddly photographs of your pets. Sometimes, stores actually stock specific photo frames and products that are catered to your dogs, cats, rabbits and more. However, the person who designed this photo frame obviously was not a lover of animals, as they couldn’t quite distinguish between a cat and a dog. Well, at least they tried.
Must be punished
If there were ever a more convenient time to describe something like a ‘walking contradiction’ – this would be it. Okay, a standing contradiction. We’re not sure why the liver is evil, considering it’s actually a pretty vital aspect of the human body, but apparently it needs to be punished. Whether you punish it by purchasing alcohol from the liquor store and drinking yourself silly, we’re not sure. In fact, we’re pretty darn confused. We need a drink to digest this…
All fields are closed
No matter where you go in the world, you will always come across areas of land that you’re not allowed to walk across – especially if you find yourself in national parks or privately owned land. Signs stating that ‘All fields are closed’ are not actually too uncommon, but things start to get a little cloudy when you read on. Although we’re not allowed to trespass, no trespassing violators will be prosecuted, so we’re all good, right?
If you’re the kind of person that loves living in the countryside, it might be your dream to own your own farm, raise your own animals and live the life of country luxury. In fact, you might even want to own your own cows – although you might want to moooove to a larger area of land for that (lol). But where do you buy cows? Well, it seems these people have ‘Used Cows’ for sale. Wonder where you can buy non-used Cows?
Free brake check
Although advertising campaigns are often just used to promote upgrades of products we already have in our lives, there are smaller companies in the world who use their billboards to promote special offers and services – just like this auto-care service shop, who is offering their customers a free brake check while they wait. However, you will only get this epic freebie if you wait 32 years. I mean, that’s a pretty long time to wait to get your brakes checked. Just saying.
When your business is struggling, you will do anything to get customers back into your store. After all, without customers, you have no business. So, many owners bring out new and exciting tactics to get their adverts up to scratch. They might offer special deals, or fresh new products, or – apparently – their pretty cashier. Of course, it’s not your usual display of professionalism, and we reckon many customers will be put off by this. But you never know. It might work.
Perfect for orange juice
When it comes down to it, advertising campaigns really aren’t that difficult to create. You just need the name of the product, a brief description of what it is, the price, and bish bash bosh; the job’s a good’un. However, it seems that even the simplest of tasks can be botched by the right (or wrong person). Yep, we all know that lemons OBVIOUSLY make lemon juice, but this designer couldn’t quite grasp that. You’re welcome to facepalm.
If you ever need a little pick-me-up, you can almost guarantee that your local clothing store will be selling slogan T-Shirts that feature motivational phrases and quotes. What could be better, ey? Well, there is something that could be better. Either the person who designed this T-Shirt was suffering from a severe case of anxiety that day, or they just didn’t check their formatting before going to print. We’re not sure whether to be happy or to worry.
When you find yourself bored of single life, you might take the time to look at the various adverts for dating websites. Although Match.com is arguably one of the most popular dating sites in the world – we can safely say that they won’t be enticing many new customers with this advertising fail. Yep, apparently calling out features that a large majority of people have ISN’T the best way to get them to use their service. Who knew, ey?