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Top 10 Bizarre Ad Campaigns

by Dash
fact checked by Alex Hanton

Some are funny. Others strike an emotional chord. But some Ad campaigns are truly bizarre. From a commercial encouraging you to rent your wife to robots selling fried chicken (or attempting to do so), we look at ten commercials which are known for the notoriety rather than the products they are attempting to promote. Some famous celebrities have helped engender this list, including Hulk Hogan and the present day Governor of California. You may cringe in disbelief.

10 Rent a Wife

A Belgian video rental service used a twisted metaphor for this commercial, leading to controversy. It depicts a couple in the mood for love making when the man suddenly packs her off in a box for disposal. Seconds later, the doorbell rings with another woman at his disposal. There was no mention of the video rental service anywhere in the advertisement and the unsuspecting viewer might just have thought the rent-a-wife scheme to be true, only to have checked the website to find an innocuous rental store. Perhaps the creators of the advert should let the poets make use of the metaphors.  

9 Robocop trying to sell fried chicken

Robocop Fried Chicken 1990s commercial (korea)

You’ve goto hand it to the Koreans for coming up with something like this. The person who conjured up this idea must have been on something while coming up with this, because he or she has made a very absurd assumption that a robocop devours and relishes the same kind of food that humans eat. The entrance of this friendly monster through the television and the whisking away of the whole fridge at the end of the advert make it all the more unreal. What’s more, he wants ‘frieda chicken’. ??

8 Do not Murder

The Way to Happiness Video #8: Do Not Murder

Of all the things that the Church of Scientology preaches ‘Do not murder’ is perhaps the least controversial. However, because it cannot end there, they went ahead and made an advertisement about it. The advert was supposedly an informational one which would act as a ‘roadmap to a happier life through values of compassion and caring that every member of a civilized society holds dear’. The content of the ad is simply a bullet which has just left a revolver while desperate voices cry out in the background and ends with the message ‘Do not murder’. Very obfuscating, indeed.

7 Sumo Wrestling and Sprite

Sumo wrestling being a rather obscure sport to most people outside of Japan, it seems only natural that those who conjured up this idea were aiming for the bizarre. And that’s exactly where they got. Iridescent sumo wrestlers bumping into each other to create orgasmic pleasure? Naa. The event is far more likely to produce an earthquake. And all this to simply relate the idea of ‘LYMON’? Utterly disturbing.

6 Sheila’s Wheels

sheela’s wheels

‘For bonzer car insurance deals, girls get onto Sheila’s wheels’. If you are a girl in the United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland), you wont have to keep your hands on the steering wheel while you drive because ‘women make the safest drivers’. Coquettish crooning accompanied by a band which follows their tune as the convertible waltzes past the countryside is hardly the way to sell car insurance and just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, a mouse appears to be driving the car.

5Ice Cream at the Bar

Super Cool Korean Ice Cream Commercial CF

And now to some edification on the art of being illogical. Set an animated lass to cavort in a bar and then at the end of it all, tell the prospective customer to buy your brand of ice-cream. To make it more interesting use a blackboard somewhere along the way to feign erudition and make sure the girl carries the ice-cream with her so that the sensual waves trigger off pleasure which will become readily apparent. Essentially, make sure that your customer is made to believe that consuming ice-cream has the same effects as alcohol.

4 Pufuleti Gusto

What do Romanians turn to when they need to inject optimism into life? After years of communist rule, high rates of unemployment, the defection of Nadia Comaneci and the retirement of Dan Petrescu and Gheorghe Hagi, they seem to have come up with the answer. Or that’s what this commercial claims. Because when you have just accidentally chopped off your head when peeling an orange, but still have the strength to ask for the Pufuleti snack, there must be something to it.

3 Hulk Hogan and the air conditioner

Hulk Hogan was the undisputed master of the ring who could possibly do anything and everything. Well, that’s what the makers of this advert for air conditioners thought. Because it is otherwise inexplicable why you would rope in a wrestling star to sing a lullaby to an infant to market a device from which cool air emanates into the room. And the song which is simply a tune of the days of the week does not make up for the faux pas. The only thing that could have made it worse is a video cassette of Hulk Hogan’s singing as a free gift. Simply excruciating.

2 Of Monsters, transvestites and Light

Weirdest Commercial Ever

While this commercial may not seem weird in the end, a second look will expound to you the theory of relativity. Unearthly, grotesque creatures create the suspense but the producers misjudged the addition of the transvestite as somewhat of an unfamiliar, foreign object. Now, this would be perfectly acceptable anywhere in the world but Thailand.

1 Arnold’s Vitamin Drink

Schwarzenegger Alinamin V Energy Drink

A greater absurdity in the annals of television commercial history has not been recorded. By comparison, it is the toffee apple surrounded by candy floss, the benchmark against which all things bizarre are judged. Takeda Chemical Industries roped in the ‘Terminator’, Arnold Schwarzenegger to market a seemingly energy boosting substance and the result has been a pyrotechnic display beyond human reasoning. The jejune background score, Arnold’s attempt to speak Japanese, and the metamorphosis in the end make this a classic. Maybe this is what he had in mind when he said he’ll be back.

fact checked by Alex Hanton