Wouldn’t life be so simple if adverts just told you what you should buy and why? Say you were considering buying a bar of chocolate and an advert told you that Hershey’s chocolate is really good because it’s popular. You’d think “Ah – a popular brand that many people enjoy. I might enjoy that too”. If adverts were straightforward and honest, it would make consumer decisions so much easier.
But where would be the fun? In a desperate attempt to capture our attention in a world saturated with commercials, the ad men have had to work harder than ever to get us buying their product en masse. And that’s where eye-catching, mind-boggling advertising comes in. For your enjoyment, here are our pick of the Top 10 Most Insane Adverts.
Let’s start one which provoked outrage as well as selling candy. The advert involved a girl making out with a walrus and being caught by another girl who thought the walrus was her own whiskery lover. It’s just Skittles’ usual surreal stuff, but it prompted a furious reaction from OneMillionMoms.com, who defend their innocent children from the sex and violence so frequently shown on our screens. You;d think they’d have enough to work through with “True Blood” alone, but no, they still have time to get incensed about a Skittles ad. They said “not only is it disgusting, it is taking lightly the act of bestiality.” Maybe in some parts of the country bestiality is a real problem and something children should be shielded from. Here, though, kids just think it’s funny. Someone kissing a walrus? What’s offensive about that?
Maybe the kids aren’t offended because they’re too busy rollerskating and things. After all, they start them young nowadays – just have a look at these babies! Freaking people out since 2009, these rollerskating babies are part of Evian’s UK “Live Young” campaign, which is supposed to mean that if you drink Evian, you can adult-like things while sporting the physique of a baby. Or something like that.
The main thing is that there are babies dancing to hip-hop. On rollerskates. It’s one of those adverts which just leaves you thinking “What just happened?!” But it was an instant hit, with 4 million views on youtube in a week. And it probably sold some bottles of water too.
8. Little Baby’s Ice Cream
While we’re on the subject of babies, this ad for Little Baby’s Ice Cream was also an internet hit, with 1.5million hits in 3 days. But it was also deeply, deeply creepy, featuring a man entirely man of ice cream eating himself. Cause, yknow, their ice cream tastes so damn good that it would eat it even if it meant self-cannibalism. There were a pair of ads, the other one being an ice cream man licking a smaller ice cream man in a cone, who was also licking an even smaller ice cream man….and it pulled out to reveal that the first man was also being licked by a bigger ice cream man…and so on.
The creator of the ad describes it as “the right kind of creepy” and says “It’s pretty twisted but they are actually lobotomizing themselves as the ad proceeds”. So, if even the man who came up with the idea thinks it’s creepy and twisted, what are the rest of us meant to think? It takes a lot to put me off eating ice cream, but this might just have done it.
And while we’re on the “unbelievably creepy” spectrum, here’s a cute little offering from Unilever Indonesia. If you’re wondering what they’re selling, it’s hand gel. But you could be forgiven for thinking it’s some strange new Asian cuisine that you’d be expected to try if you ever visited Indonesia. After all, it’s acceptable to eat guinea pigs in South America, so maybe hamster muffins are commonplace in Asia?
Thankfully, it’s not. But the point the ad is making is that without hand gel, the germs from whatever you touched last transfer onto what you eat, hence the tagline “you eat what you touch”. But what a supremely sinister way of getting that message across…!
Time to move onto to something different, and here’s an example of the beautiful simplicity an ad can have. In this Belgian ad, a father walks through a grocery store with his child, when the child spies a bag of candy and starts throwing an almighty tantrum, screaming “I want the candy!” The father meanwhile looks on with a look of despair and resignation.
The tagline? “Use condoms”. Yes, it’s an advert for how hideous parenting is. Whoever came up with this concept obviously ignored the fact that a large proportion of people watching would be parents and might not see the funny side. But really, it is pretty funny. Remember, this could be your life. Use a condom.