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Where are You Eating on Yom Kippur? Really, Really Bad Ad Campaigns

September 16, 2010 in Food & Drink, LA


Jerry’s Deli customers got this cheery holiday email today (emphasis is mine):

Hello _____,

We invite you to join us! Celebrate Yom Kippur with Jerry’s Famous Deli. Our special holiday menu is perfect for the occasion. Bring your family. Bring your friends…and enjoy some great food!

To view this year’s menu, click here:
http://jerrysfamousdeli.com/holiday/

…and remember, Jerry’s Deli catering can make your Holiday planning so much easier. Give us a call and we’ll bring the food to you!

Jerry’s Famous Deli
Where Food and People Mix! 

Jerry’s Famous Deli – Guy’s North – Solley’s Deli


That email was followed just a few hours later by this one:

Dear Customers of Jerrys Deli,

I wish to apologize for the mistake made by our marketing company in the recent email blast sent to you. As an Israeli and a Jew, I was very disappointed by this.

Our marketing company unfortunately sent an email blast without our input. The marketing company meant to serve us. However, they simply did not know what the holiday really represents and how it can offend those observing Yom Kippur / day of atonement.

I apologize on behalf of the company, its staff and the owners.
Ami Saffron
Executive Vice President Jerrys Deli

So much for getting goyem to do your marketing for you, Jerry’s. I think you may have just established yourself as our bad ad campaigns gold medalist. God help me, I know it’s a terrifically offensive gaffe in the eyes of the devout, but I’m laughing so hard I can hardly get this post up.

More in this series:

To a New World of Gods and Monsters

It’s a Thin Line Between Awesome and Awful

Grafittists, I Invite Thee

Some Things Shouldn’t Go Viral

Hard Wood Floors

Who’s the Creepy Guy?

(Thanks to Chris for the tip)

Hard Wood Floors: Bad Ad Campaigns Part V

September 9, 2010 in Rants, The Valley

When the history of bad ad campaigns is written, this billboard may have a chapter all to itself, or at least a subsection of a chapter. Seriously, it feels almost too easy to critique this as an example of an awful piece of advertising. I mean, really guys? Really?

This billboard sprang up just a few blocks from my house since I started this bad ad campaign mini-series of posts here at b.la and it almost feels like a plant. Every time I pass it I giggle to myself about hard wood floors. I am, I admit, lodged firmly in arrested adolescence. Retarded in the true sense of the word. Even so, it feels almost unsporting to pick on this billboard–like the jock beating up the fat kid on the playground: it’s just too easy. But of course, here I am.

Other posts in this series:
To A New World of Gods and Monsters
It’s a Thin Line Between “Awesome” and “Awful”
Graffitists, I Invite Thee
Some Things Shouldn’t Go Viral

Some Things Shouldn’t Go Viral: Bad Ad Campaigns Part IV

September 5, 2010 in ICME, Movies

A few days ago a friend, who knows about my aversion to bad ad campaigns sent me this picture in case it was blog-worthy:


And then this morning I saw this on another friend’s Facebook uploads:


So yes, it seems that Sony has been successful getting attention for their forthcoming movie, The Virginity Hit. According to KTLA, more than 70,000 people called the toll-free number in the first five days the billboards and bus posters went up (please, let us hope they were just curious and not actually looking to cure their virginal malady). In that respect, it’s probably a really “good” ad campaign, just an annoying one. But this second picture was snapped in front of the Children’s Hospital, and I think placement alone earns it a spot in the bad ad campaign hall of fame.

It’s a Thin Line Between “Awesome” and “Awful”: Bad Ad Campaigns Part II

August 7, 2010 in Rants

Every time I drive home from Hollywood through Laurel Canyon, I pass this billboard on Ventura Boulevard that proclaims “AWESOMETOWN: New homes from $200,000.” with pictures of happy running children, a tract home, and a sterile building. And every time I think “Really? Are you serious?” I mean, I understand that “ALL YOU CAN AFFORDTOWN” isn’t a great ad campaign, but AWESOMETOWN?  Forgive me Valencians, but you can’t actually believe this about where you live. What I wonder is this: have the ad people have ever actually been to Valencia? And further: do they believe that Valencia is “awesome” or are they attempting to perpetrate a fraud on the rest of us?

I’ll grant Valencia is home to Cal Arts and Magic Mountain, but apart from those two draws, relative to oh, just about anywhere else in LA County, I’d hardly characterize it as “awesome,” I mean, unless white people, malls, and a town frighteningly evocative of the Truman Show is “awesome” in your book. I’ve always felt like one of the joys of Los Angeles is its messy unplanned nature. The freeway system, viewed from above, looks like a tangle of string or pasta. In any given strip mall you can buy pinatas, shop for Armenian groceries, get a pedicure and have a doughnut, and never have to utter a word of English. LA is random, untidy, and by turns charming and ridiculous. Valencia, on the other hand, is sanitized and sterile. It always makes me feel like I’m in biosphere or Logan’s Run. If I’m there for any period of time, I have to double check my palm to make sure that I don’t have a stone turning black set in the middle of it. I know “I CAN’T WAIT TO GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERETOWN” doesn’t scan very well, but who are you trying to sell houses to by billing yourself this way, Valencia? Twelve year-olds?