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F for ‘Effed Up Effort’ and a Lazy Poll | Manolo for the Big Girl

F for ‘Effed Up Effort’ and a Lazy Poll

I don’t know how many of you saw this little gem in the history of miserably bad advertising the other day. I know it almost made me repaint the wall behind my computer a rich coffee brown, albeit a splotchy one. It almost makes me think they hired Frog Hammer to come up with the campaign. Warning: some language may not be safe for work.

Anyway.

This got me wondering, what is the worst advertising campaign you’ve ever seen? Share the glee, people!

I’ll even start. I saw this ad when I was but a wee thing knee-high to my current vertically challenged size. It was in a magazine my mother was reading. There was a very grim looking gentleman sitting behind a desk with folded hands. In huge letters above his head it read: “When you think of pests, think of us.”

It took me a while to stop laughing long enough to check and discover that the company was in bug extermination. It’s been more than forty years, but it still makes me giggle.

15 Responses to “F for ‘Effed Up Effort’ and a Lazy Poll”

  1. vonnie September 5, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    yay!! let me pay a bajillion dollars for a D+ education! wow, pr fail! lol…..I hate commercials where you don’t even know what they are selling. Some try to be so artsy or cool that they forget to mention the product and why I should want it….that KIND of helps, don’t ya think?

    http://www.socialitedreams.com/

  2. Katie September 5, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    Bless you for including Frog Hammer! First, it made my day. Second, it sent me on a Netflix search where I learned that all three seasons are on instant play. Third, I’m taking my phone off the hook and watching Slings and Arrows!

    Have you seen Bon Cop, Bad Cop? Colm Feore is excellent in that, too.

  3. JenniferP September 5, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    You get 10,000 props for the Frog Hammer reference, and if you lived closer I’d have you over for dinner and Slings & Arrows marathon RIGHT NOW.

  4. Leigh Ann September 5, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    I attended a college whose advertising slogan was “More than you might expect,” which always made me wonder if it should be completed “…but less than you might have hoped for.” Actually, it was a very nice school, but it had an inferiority complex.

  5. larkspur September 5, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    hilarious! Sorry, I can’t think of one better than “D+”!

  6. The Accidental Tangoiste September 5, 2010 at 10:53 pm #

    This one wasn’t deliberate, but it sticks very clearly in my memory:

    The beautiful little liberal-arts school where I went to college had a major advertising campaign a few years ago, with billboards that read “[My Alma Mater]: Brilliant.” (This made me and one of my best friends and fellow student bust a gut laughing the time we were lost for THREE HOURS in another city and passed one of their ads. But anyway…)

    It appears that one of their new ads was applied over what used to be a Jack Daniel’s ad on one billboard. The bottom part of the school’s ad blew off in a violent windstorm, leaving a mashup that read “[My Alma Mater]: Good Whiskey.” Possibly true–but definitely unfortunate.

  7. BSAG September 6, 2010 at 5:05 am #

    Held up in my college mass-communication class as an example of an ill-conceived ad tagline: “Poupon the potato salad.”

  8. Kathy September 6, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    Sadly I live near the D+ university and my daughter was considering going there. It really is a great university, but with really, really bad advertising. Thanks for noticing and for the Monday morning laugh!

  9. gamma September 6, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    Where do I begin?

    The Carl’s Junior ads that proclaimed (I’m operating on memory here) “if it’s not all over the place it doesn’t belong in your face.” Am I the only one who thinks the whole point of fast food is you can eat it in the car without looking like a hot mess when you get there?

    The short-lived M.A.C. online ad that featured Sandra Bernhard in which she riffed about lips, making a passing negative reference to thin-lipped “Republican women.” While Sandra is entitled to her opinion, why would anyone at M.A.C. sign off on an ad that would gratuitously offend a substantial share of the cosmetics market?

  10. Twistie September 6, 2010 at 7:01 pm #

    @Katie: Yeah, I adore Frog Hammer. That was an awesome campaign, wasn’t it? And yes, I have seen Bad Cop, Bon Cop. I enjoyed it tremendously. Colm Feore is delicious.

    @JenniferP: It’s a date! Dinner and Slings&Arrows would be fantabulous!

    @The Accidental Tangoiste: That just kills. Two mediocre ad campaigns that are howlingly funny together makes my day.

    @gamma: I had a similar thought about the Carl’s Jr. campaign. My version was about all the food wastage that could be going in to my face via a route other than my pores. I never saw the SB M.A.C. ad, but going out of your way to offend that many potential customers (Republicans AND thin-lipped women of other political persuasions) sounds like a great way to kill your business. Then again, it does smack of Frog Hammer.

    BSAG wins.

  11. Debs September 6, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    I remember an ad for an airline, I don’t know which one, which showed a killer whale swiiming around an airplane (obviously underwater). So, the plane crashed and landed in the ocean? Disturbing.

  12. Violet September 7, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    There is a clinic, I think somewhere in Florida, that does colonoscopies. They did a “get screened” advertisement a couple of years ago that showed a golf course in the shape of a colon. Headline: “Your #2 hole is our #1 concern.”

    (PSA: if you are 50+ — or 40+ with colorectal cancer in your family — GET SCREENED. They give you the good drugs and it’s painless, even amusing, because you’re so high. I’ve had a friend die of Stage IV colon cancer. DO NOT WANT.)

  13. La Petite Acadienne September 7, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    I think this is the worst ad ever: http://www.stuckinthe70s.com/images/tb0476babysoft.jpg

    I mean….ewwww.

  14. Twistie September 7, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    Yeah, I remember that ad, La Petite Acadienne. It creeped me out then and it creeps me out now.

  15. cadpig September 7, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    In Saskatchewan the Pork marketing board in the 80’s had a billboard that had a loving couple BBQ’ing… and it read

    Pork the one you love!

    It should have read

    Pork. The one you love!

    For want of a period that billboard became a marketing success/failure all in one day.