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Tag Archives: badvertising

What are you on, Diet Coke?

The riskiest kind of advertising is that in which you are so much inside the head of your audience that you can actually poke gentle fun at them and they will be appreciative rather than insulted. My favorite successful example is an etrade billboard that towered above San Francisco in the height of the dot-com […]

Specifics sell… this example shows why!

Unfortunately, it’s an example of what NOT to do: The National Park Foundation saw the terrible wildfire currently out of control in Yosemite as a great opportunity to raise money for its cause. It’s exactly the same tactic used by The Salvation Army, The American Red Cross and many other charities which often have their […]

Headline Horrors (outer envelope teasers that don’t)

It’s been far too long since we’ve visited the Badvertising Hall of Shame… that corridor of horrors where unfortunate marketers teach us by example what NOT to do. Let’s begin with this outer envelope teaser from Fresh Air Fund. This is a seasonal appeal I used to struggle with when doing work for Salvation Army… […]

Copywriting 101: Saratoga Chips

A local company is marketing a boutique potato chip in Saratoga Springs, NY, where that salty snack was invented in 1853. The chips are made with high quality potatoes and taste delicious. They are charmingly packaged in a replica of the “takeaway” box from the 1870s. The company is well regarded and family owned. And […]

Chevrolet shoots self in crankcase, creates badvertising instant classic

You can’t make this stuff up. The VP, I mean Vice President of Marketing at GM, I mean General Motors, has asked all employees to stop calling Chevy by that casual name and refer to it by the formal “Chevrolet” henceforth. The request presumably extends to the brand’s new agency, Goodby Silverstein, but hopefully did […]

Taking bad marketers to the woodshed

Did you ever get punished as a child for doing something naughty, because a parent or teacher didn’t believe you even though you were telling the truth? The problem here is a lack of authenticity—or, to borrow a favorite word from ace copywriter and gore movie maven Herschell Gordon Lewis— verisimilitude. Consumers in general tend […]

Travelers In-Synch campaign joins Badvertising Hall of Shame.

Mike Sciosa’s decision to take out John Lackey in Inning 7 of tonight’s Angels-Yankees playoff game has to rank among the all time worst decisions. But close behind it is the new In-Synch tagline from sponsor Travelers Insurance. That’s right, not “in sync” but “in synch” even though if you do a Google search for […]

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