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Are advertisers going too far to break through?

By February 2, 2008August 19th, 20202 Comments

One day to Super Bowl Sunday and I’m wondering:

a. Which ad will have us all talking on Monday morning?
b. Will Bud dominate?
c. Which ads will we remember?
d. Who will go too far to break through?
e. And will the answer to “c” be because it’s “d?”

Don’t get me wrong. Boring advertising sucks but should you really have to remove your kids from the room when a crude ad comes on?

Check out this article from The Sleaziest Super Bowl ads of all time from MSNBC, and then tell me, is crude advertising that breaks through (and gets results) responsible?

And since I’m sure you are wondering, here’s MSNBC’s pick for sleaziest of all time (I’d rate this PG-13).

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Not sure I’d be compelled to send my kids out of the room because a horse farted on a tv commercial…just me, I guess. The common Levitra, Tampax, and Viagra commercials that are shown most any day, however, are another story. The last thing I’d want to do while watching a football game with your family is to explain what ED is to a small child. That, to me, is much more distressing than flatulence humor.

  • Agreed. Great comment.

    The threshold is different for everyone and that’s the problem. Like you, I’m not particularly concerned with this type of humor, but I know a lot of people who are.

    To me the challenge is, can you break through without creating a brand that’s associated with lowbrow humor.

    On Friday, I saw a couple of viral videos for AdClub Seattle. In one of them, a stressed our creative threw feces all over a client. About half of the people in our room of about a dozen laughed. About half were thought it was disgusting and were unimpressed.

    Will everyone in the room remember it. Sure. But at what cost? I don’t have the answer, but it’s something marketers like us have to grapple with each day.

    To break through we have to be creative. And sometimes that means ruffling feathers. But how far could and should we go?

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