Weâ€™re so bombarded with commercials these days that itâ€™s tough for any of them to stand out. There are may ways to get around that problem, but no approach is more painful to witness than attempts to make a product look hip or edgy. For each success there are dozens of awkward rap songs about chocolate milk or the latest breakfast cereal, and things just get worse when outdated slang is used as the basis of not just one advertisement, but an entire big-budget campaign.
1. Miracle Whip is Fighting the System
There are a lot of brand names and products out there that could stand to be revitalized, but mayonnaise isnâ€™t among them. Itâ€™s a food that people either like or dislike; spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a new ad campaign probably isnâ€™t going to result in a lot people saying to themselves, â€œOh hey, I guess my taste buds donâ€™t hate this stuff after all.â€
Kraft Foods believes otherwise though, as their latest commercials appear to be targeting those of us who used to think mayo was a condiment for losers. The ads feature hip, twenty-something urbanites who, in between having rocking parties, playing their guitars, harassing old people on the beach and generally sticking it to the man, enjoy apparently controversial Miracle Whip based products and arenâ€™t afraid to tell it to society.
Using young, attractive people to advertise a product is nothing new, but this one pushes the rebellious aspect well beyond the realm of believability. â€œWe will not be quietâ€? Are people really out there trying to shut down the free thinkers at Miracle Whip? It gets worse, ending with the bold statement â€œWe are Miracle Whip, and we will not tone it down.â€ Nobodyâ€™s asking you to tone it down, Miracle Whip, youâ€™re a god damn jar of mayonnaise. Get over yourself.
The campaign also features provocative billboards, public transit ads and even a web app where you can send your friends â€œZingrs,â€ which essentially involves adding comments to websites, allowing you to mock the old fashioned, non-mayo loving sites of the Internet. Thatâ€™s right; you too can fight society, the delicious way!
Finally, a condiment that gets our generation.
2. Fifth Third Bank Tries to Write Comedy, Fails
Prudent financial planning is only a step behind antiquing on the list of things thatâ€™s difficult to make look trendy, so Fifth Third Bank had an uphill battle ahead of them when they decided to create a series of videos featuring three clichÃ©d college roommates to advertise their services. When you add in the fact that Fifth Third is based in Ohio you have the set up for the least interesting sitcom since Cavemen.
These videos were designed to advertise special bank accounts for college students, and in-between hilarious references to Snuggies and wacky sounds from the comic relief roommate viewers are treated to insultingly obvious financial advice such as â€œRemember to pay the electric bill!â€ and â€œSigning up for six different credit cards isnâ€™t a very good idea!â€ Anyone who has trouble with these concepts probably keeps their money in a burlap bag under their mattress, so weâ€™re not exactly sure who these ads are really targeting.
â€œOK, remember now, debt is bad. You guys with me so far?â€
Thereâ€™s five of them in total, although one doesnâ€™t quite fit in with the rest. Instead of the usual â€œDonâ€™t spend money you donâ€™t have, you morons,â€ we get treated to the irresponsible roommate planning for a party.
He just put together an entire shindig without paying a dime. Thatâ€™s not going to teach young adults to be fiscally responsible, because everyone who watched that is going to think to themselves, â€œHoly crap, thatâ€™s a great idea!â€ Weâ€™re not even sure what that one had to do with banking, unless itâ€™s reverse psychology and Fifth Third is trying to create a bunch of cheapskates who horde every last precious penny in their bank. Although an idea like that is probably beyond the grasp of the comedic geniuses who wrote, â€œHomie got paid today, boy!â€
3. No Stank You Makes Non-Smokers Look Like Morons
We have nothing against anti-smoking campaigns; theyâ€™re important, kids need to learn the hazards of that cool, sexy habit. However, No Stank Youâ€™s approach is a little unorthodox; rather than just state some of the many, many facts that demonstrate the clear dangers of smoking, they instead chose to go with a bunch of bright, flashy videos in the hope that the inevitable seizures kids got from watching these things would kill them before they were old enough to have to address the cigarette issue.
Itâ€™s been awhile since we were in school, but weâ€™re pretty sure that using words like â€œduper superâ€ and â€œblizonkoâ€ wouldnâ€™t have convinced our peers to stop smoking, unless your plan was to make them beat the crap out of you so often that they didnâ€™t have time to pop out for a cigarette between classes.
â€œSmoking rots your teeth! Please donâ€™t kill me!â€
We get that rather than overwhelming kids with a bunch of statistics theyâ€™re trying to make not smoking look cooler than lighting up, but damn, they executed that plan in the worst way possible. Sure, teenagers are adorably gullible to the point where theyâ€™ll buy any product or message thatâ€™s marketed well, but you really need to put some thought into your approach. Lines like â€œI will not let tobacco turn my mouth into a 24-hour gag factory,â€Â just makes us picture a committee of 40 year olds desperately trying to produce credible teen lingo, or, as theyâ€™d probably put it, â€œtrying to stay out of Squaresville.â€
4. KFCâ€™s Grilled Chicken Gets Blinged Out
In 2009 KFC added grilled chicken to their menu as a healthy alternative to fried chicken. Weâ€™re not sure whatâ€™s sadder, to be honest: that we live in a society where a new form of greasy fast food chicken is considered the healthy option, or that KFC abandoned the whole â€œdonâ€™t look like a restaurant for fatassesâ€ tactic by creating the heart attack inducing Double Down sandwich. But thatâ€™s a debate for another day.
The commercials for KFCâ€™s grilled chicken urged viewers to â€œunthinkâ€ what they knew about chicken, as if chicken were some complex, abstract concept that required Orwellian terminology to comprehend.
Sadly, things got even worse from there, as other ads featured people busting out retarded dance moves. Obvious contradiction aside (anyone who gets that excited about a new type of fast food would only be able to dance for a few seconds before keeling over from exhaustion), the commercial comes across as a sad attempt to make fast food hip and attractive.
If you think weâ€™re exaggerating their intention then check out KFCâ€™s iPhone app. It allows you to â€œget all up in KFCâ€™s Grillzâ€ by having a mouth with bling spout the merits of grilled chicken from your phone. Itâ€™s free, but considering that the appâ€™s only purpose is to advertise KFC we almost feel like we should be paid to download it. That would certainly ease the pain of listening to the mocking laughter of anyone who sees you holding your iPhone up to your mouth to pretend you have tricked out, KFC themed teeth.