9 Weird Advertising Tricks That Shocked the World

Advertising is everywhere, but most people have learned to ignore the commercials that are forced upon them. We change channels when ads come on TV, we tune to a different radio station when commercials interrupt the music and we masturbate to a different porn site when too many popups kill the mood. These days, we’ll only remember an ad is if it’s presented to us in a truly remarkable way, and the weird methods used below are perfect examples of what will actually stick with us.

1. Attack of the Giant Colgate Tube

Your first reaction to this ad will be to run to the comments section and call us idiots for showing you something that’s clearly been photoshopped, but we can assure you that this huge Colgate tube attached to an office building is real.

With some of the lights left on the building is supposed to look like it’s smiling at you, although personally we think it looks disinterested in us at best. But regardless, the message is clear: Colgate is the toothpaste of choice for office towers, and if it can keep the teeth they don’t actually have clean then obviously it’s perfect for your mouth too.

2. Taste the Rainbow

Sight and sound are, obviously, the senses that most ads take advantage of. But smell can also be used to promote certain products thanks to the wonders of scratch and sniff, and even touch gets in on the action with, like, carpet samples or whatever. That leaves taste, the slacker sense of the advertising world. However, a company called First Flavor has decided to put that lazy fifth sense to good use with ads you can lick.

First Flavor makes a variety of flavoured strips (our favourite is the Bacardi rum one), which are primarily used in magazine ads. The strips are single use and designed to be peeled off before being licked, so if you’re waiting around at the doctor’s office and the guy next to you is busy licking magazine pages we wouldn’t recommend asking him what the commercials taste like.

3. Escalators that Elevate Sales

The most effective ads are ones where people have absolutely no choice but to watch. We can change TV channels to avoid a commercial, but if you’re in a movie theatre you’re pretty much forced to sit through the ads, unless you close your eyes and plug your ears with popcorn. A hair salon took this logic a step further by putting their ad on an escalator, which meant that anyone who wanted to go upstairs had to learn about their services.

Each step on the escalator displayed a hairstyle that matched up with the face of the man at the bottom, so people were able to see what a bunch of different cuts would look like. As you can tell, styles ranged from “neat and professional” to “incredibly douchey,” so there was something available for everyone.

4. Advertise by Defacing Other Ads

Coming up with an ad of any kind, let alone a creative one, is hard work. So why bother going through all that effort when you can just slap your brand name onto commercials made by other people? Sure, some downers might call that “unethical,” but the people at Hubba Bubba simply refer to it as “marketing.”

See how easy it is? What used to be a lingerie ad is now a billboard of a hot woman blowing a Hubba Bubba bubble. And all it took was a balloon, some outside the box thinking, and a complete lack of respect for other businesses.

5. The Ol’ Sanitary Pad in the Sink Trick

Feminine hygiene products are tricky to advertise, because it’s tough to show how effective a certain brand can be without crossing the line of good taste. But at the same time the ads still need to be memorable, and you can only go with the “pour what looks like blue Kool-Aid onto the product in question while cheery music plays” shtick so many times before viewers lose interest. So one company decided to eschew all that subtlety crap and send the bluntest message possible by putting a fake version of their pads in bathroom sinks.

The message is supposed to be “look at how much this can absorb!” although we suspect that the average woman’s first reaction was more along the lines of “gross, who left that in the sink?” But either way, they’d definitely remember the brand name.

6. Urine: The Classic Advertising Medium

Now that we’ve explored the wonders and mysteries of a women’s bathroom, let’s take a look at a weird ad that was put on display in men’s rooms.

This ad for ESPN Brazil encourages men to test their soccer and urination skills by attempting to guide the ball into the goal using no more than the by-product of drinking way too much beer. Screaming “GOOOOOOOOOOOAL!” at the top of your lungs while you wave your dick around in celebration if you succeed isn’t strictly against the rules, but it may be considered unsporting depending on what sort of establishment you’re in and how drunk the other people in the bathroom are. Similar guidelines apply to anyone who wants to suggest the use of “teamwork.”

7. A New Kind of Flyer

The ads we’ve looked at so far have been nice and all, but none have harnessed the raw power of nature. No, this isn’t about some business that’s learned to control lightning for advertising purposes; that would be too badass for the world to handle. Instead, a German publishing company advertised their services at a book fair by attaching itty bitty little banners to flies that were let loose in the exhibition hall.

The banners were ultra-light and attached to 200 flies with natural wax, and they were designed to fall off the insects after a short time. That way, no bugs would be harmed; at least not until their rival publishers started handing out flyswatters.

8. Nothing Increases Sales better than Mosquito Bites

Not to be outdone by a bunch of Germans, a Swedish outdoor equipment store decided to join forces with man’s most hated nemesis: the mosquito. Their goal was to show off their wide variety of insect repelling products, and they accomplished this by setting up a big enclosure full of mosquitos in the middle of the store, which visitors would presumably be repelled by.

Anyone who braved the enclosure received a one percent discount on their purchases for each mosquito bite they suffered. The stunt received a ton of press coverage, making it an extremely effective marketing ploy; and best of all, the store’s employees got to witness every retail worker’s dream of watching customers suffer.

9. Cockroaches and Pizza: A Retarded Combination

One of the first things marketing students are taught is that creating commercials that will make people throw up is a poor approach to the trade. But hey, every rule is made to be broken, right? No. Dear God, no.

We’ll admit that the concept is clever, but that doesn’t mean it’s effective in the slightest. Nobody likes a misleading ad, and that’s especially true when you’ve been misled into thinking you just chowed down on a pizza that was used to crush a cockroach. How many people are even going to read the fine print before they run to the bathroom and/or make an angry phone call to the pizza place? We’re going to go out on a limb and guess zero.

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