11 Points

11 Photos of Poorly Phrased Advertisements
written by Sam Greenspan

Sometimes, a double entendre is just meant to be. When one of them manages to get through the 800 layers of bureaucracy that make up an advertising or marketing department, it's more than luck. It's fate. (Yeah, I side with John Locke when it comes to advertising bloopers.)

I've been collecting these photos for a while and finally found my 11th one last night. Here are 11 photos and screen grabs of ads, signs and billboards where the advertising and marketing departments really should've rephrased their message.
  1. Is this similar to the Rhythm Method of shopping?



    Fine print: If only you'd taken this advice a year ago, you wouldn't need to come to Babies 'R Us at all and you'd be saving way more than $600.

  2. I see the long hair, but I still never would've guessed.



    This is like that "Friends" where Joey is in the STD clinic ad and there are posters all over New York about him having VD. This actor probably still hears "she-mail" on a semi-regular basis.

  3. In retrospect, maybe Valentine's Day shouldn't involve roughing each other up.



    My friend Steve is one of the few remaining die-hard Isles fans and he's getting married in a few weeks. Based on this ad campaign, I should probably remind him not to take gift advice from the Islanders. (Or management/strategy/success-o-nomics advice.)

  4. I think the whole first season of "Desperate Housewives" revolved around this concept.



    With the size of today's children, there's no way you could fit one into a 9x10x17 box.

  5. Never trust your wife around Canadians.



    Or maybe this one isn't poorly phrased, and the Acclaim Hotel at the Calgary Airport is trying to establish itself as a swingers destination. Instead of being a Sandals resort, they could be the Canadian version... a Snowshoes! (Anyone? Anyone? Fine. Charlatans. Moving on.)

  6. I wasn't going to include spelling/grammar/usage errors on this list, but this couldn't be passed up.



    It sorta works if you channel an old timey school marm and use "learning" as a noun. "Those com-puter games 'r too fun. And if these children are having too much fun, they won't remember their learning. Which opens them up to THE DEVIL." That's probably what the makers of Lego Harry Potter and Powerpuff Girls computer games were going for.

  7. Sorry, everyone -- the perverts have fully co-opted "money shot."



    I always thought the Got Milk? ads were dancing around this same concept with their photographic theme.

  8. Matchbox appears to be encroaching on the "Everybody Poops" territory.



    A truck named Stinky eats and dumps and there's no scatology intended. They ought to get some kind of award for that.

  9. Two in the...



    Maybe I'm just missing the obvious, but I can't figure out what the billboard is *actually* supposed to be promoting. I am only capable of going the dirty mind interpretation. Please let it be so genuinely ambiguous that that's an indictment of the billboard and not me.

  10. I think they could've gone with "all of which you've never seen before."



    If this isn't tongue-in-cheek, someone ought to sic their seeing-eye dog on the president of this company.

  11. Imagine, squared.



    If this was intentional, it's really stilted. If it was unintentional, it's a real embarrassment for BP. I'm not sure if their brand can recover from this kind of sloppiness.


This post was originally published on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Misc.

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