Because you already know just how unbelievably racist, sexist and homophobic old marketing campaigns were (pretty much all of them were one way or another), let’s instead take a look at some modern ones created and approved by corporate moron a-holes.
(Click the blue links to see them in action.)
On 9/11’s 12th anniversary, AT&T took it upon themselves to tweet an image of a Blackberry capturing a photo of twin columns of light at Ground Zero. Even the hand holding the Blackberry is a dick for participating in this gross commercialization of a national tragedy.
“You’re Not Alone. Millions of people love the Big Mac”, the ad proclaims, next to an image of a deeply depressed woman. It even has a phone number at the bottom just like a suicide hotline. Where does it lead? To McDonald’s corporate office. Hopefully someone called them (and their ad agency, Arnold Boston) and told them they’re all assholes.
The vagina-hands talk in the way that a CBS sitcom might expect them to based on their color – and about vaginal cleanliness, no less. How pleasant. What’s even worse? The Richard’s Group, who is responsible for the ad, said they were “surprised that some have found the online video racially stereotypical.” Unfunny and idiotic.
Babies are serious stuff. In fact, everyone was one at one point. But that didn’t stop HomeAway from using what is basically the death of a baby as a punchline by showing one get squashed in a cramped hotel room. Worse still? It’s creepy as eff.
The image of a taller white woman putting the iron grip on a shorter black woman’s face might be uncomfortable enough, except for the over-the-top tagline that goes along with it: “White is coming.” Way to celebrate diversity along with your new white handheld gaming system that no one cared about, Sony.
Yes, you read that right. In a very real 2008 contest, Stil vodka offered the winner a trip to Russia to pick out a real live Russian bride. The legal implications of this are sort of mind-numbing, but worse still is the image they used showing a visibly unhappy woman cleaning a floor without the aid of a Swiffer.
PETA is notorious for disgusting, unconscionable advertisements that actually make people want to eat more animals to spite them. But because we’re not here to depress you or make you so angry you need to start taking blood-pressure medication, here’s their most tame, but still plenty offensive, advertisement. In this instance, PETA equates a fat woman to a whale. Classy.
An Indian ad agency created a couple of pretty effed up pieces for the Ford Figo and then published them without getting them approved by Ford. One shows Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi driving a Figo with a trunk full of bound and gagged women (one of whom is visibly crying). Another shows Paris Hilton driving away with the bound and gagged Kardashian sisters (which somehow seems slightly less morally wrong).
Imagine if an ad came out that involved six nondescript black guys bowing in front of a white-collar white guy with the headline “Maximize the power of your employees.” It happened. Oh, this couldn’t possibly be taken the wrong way, could it? Yes, it could.
Know of any ad campaigns even more despicable than these? Let us know, because we’d love to get angry right along with you.