9 Hilariously Misplaced Advertisements

#3: Where is Daddy? — Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club…

Eszter Brhlik
5 min readDec 4, 2020

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Reddit, Where’s daddy?

Before purchasing a space for a giant poster, businesses usually consider some factors. It is important to know how much money the company can spend on the given ad, as this form of campaign fits the most expensive advertisement categories. After budget allocation, the right positioning is probably the most crucial decision regarding the ad, because it highly influences both the number of reached people and the efficiency of the campaign.

Sometimes, however, mistakes happen, and the public can be witness to some hilariously misplaced advertisements. This, on the one hand, might be the reason for reaching more people, but not definitely contribute to the efficiency of the campaign.

1. If you have any questions about our flight today, please don’t hesitate to ask one of our marketing designers. Thank you.

Imgur, “Possibly the worst Airline ad ever…”

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t feel entirely comfortable flying (down) with Turkish airlines right after seeing this ad.

One thing is that the employee who put up the giant poster might have misunderstood the instructions and made a mistake, another is approving the advertisement despite it.

Or do you think someone really believed, having an airplane flying straight into the ground will be a successful marketing campaign?

2. Nivea

Imgur, “Nice legs!”

Nivea had some marketing failures during its more than 100 years old history. Once, for example, they created an ad for the Middle Eastern market with the caption “White is purity”. No wonder it became a huge scandal.

This one with the print on a bus is at least not racist, simply just idiotic and hilarious. I’m quite sure the man sitting on the bus doesn’t dream about having such smooth, nicely shaved legs…

3. WorkSafe and Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club

Reddit, Where’s daddy?

Two years ago, a Reddit user encountered these posters in Melbourne.

WorkSafe Victoria is an Aussie company dedicated to helping to create safe and healthy workplaces. Unfortunately, this billboard was placed right in front of a Gentlemen’s Club print ad.

Well, I’m so sorry, little girl, daddy is at Gentlemen’s Club tonight…

4. The US. Citizenship and Immigration Service and an Unfortunate Movie Poster

joed205, Badly placed advertisement

No words for this.

Even though racist jokes might seem to be funny and harmless to some, studies claim when looking at the bigger picture, racist jokes can reinforce the ideology, can give rise to offense or psychological damage, and might even affect group morale.

5. Food Stamps’ and McDonald’s interesting cooperation

Here, McDonald’s unfortunate ad placement completely demolishes the seriousness of childhood obesity. Still, compared to the previous ad, this might be rather an innocent, amusing mistake.

6. You mean, Sweet Zone?

sgotwalks, 12 Ad Placement Fails

My most pending question here is, which company was there first?

Because if Cyclone, then I really cannot deplore SweatZone for this unpleasant positioning. If, however, it’s the other way around, then SweatZone could have denounced Cyclone for acting in a slightly sexist way.

7. Please, Just Don’t

No, no, no. Even if you’re advertising funeral services, you mustn’t encourage people to commit suicide. That’s really not the right way to gain customers. Have you ever heard of business ethics, dear Bergemann & Sohn?

Still, some might argue that the quite distasteful ad attracts attention, the company’s name remains in the people’s minds, therefore contribute to customer acquisition, while probably not causing any harm at all.

8. Exodus International’s Fail

Exodus International used to stand for helping “people who wished to limit their homosexual desires”. The company dissolved in 2013 because the president of the company admitted their therapy doesn’t work, and for him it even was harmful.

His last action was apologizing to the participants of the program for any pain and damage the program might have caused.

Considering this, the poster placement seems to be no-nonsense now.

9. Underlying kitties…

Hofer advertisement in Hungary

Hofer, you should watch out where you place your posters and therefore share kitties on the upper body of a woman. That’s quite inappropriate I’d say.

The ad, however, didn’t go wrong in Hungary, as in the country ‘pussy’ only means tiny, cute cat, and most people just didn’t get the pun.

Even though some of the above-mentioned advertisement examples are funny, they might seriously hurt people. Plus, none of these misplacements truly serve as an ideal marketing exemplar.

Companies should aim to be popular because of the products they sell and not because of the idiotic mistakes they make.

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