Right Brain, Left Brain Blog

16 posts categorized "Fail"

04 May 2012

Argentina's Falklands ad and other Olympic controversies

The UK media has been dominated by news of a TV commercial sponsored by the government of Argentina that sees members of the Argentine Olympic team training on the Falklands.

"To compete on English soil, we train on Argentine soil."

For readers outside the UK, many of whom will have little idea where the Falkland Islands are, or the sensitivities that surround the governance of the Islands. The spot, which was apprently filmed in secret, sees an Argentinian athlete running past various landmarks in the capital city Port Stanley. One particular sequence that has caused particular ire is a scene that shows one athlete performing step-ups on a memorial for British servicemen who died in the 1981 conflict.


The spot, filmed by Y&R, has even come under fire from WPP Chairman Sir Martin Sorrell, who has been quoted as being "appalled and embarassed."

Some commentators have written off the film as a desperate attempt to stir-up a patriotic by President Kirchner using the highly visible platform of the Olympics. Despite the many laws and statute that exist to protect the sporting purity of the games, there are always some adverts that cause trouble...

Spain upsets the Chinese

Ads for the 2008 Beijing games appeared in a Spanish sporting newspaper depicted the national basketball team posing in their official kit, pulling 'slanty eye' faces to the camera. The IOC were not impressed.

Spanish team

Nike upsets the athletes

Atlanta, 1996, and Nike puts a foot in it with a billboard that bears the slogan: "You don't win silver, you lose gold," which attracted complaints from bronze and silver medal winners from previous games. 

Nike upsets the children

The 2000 Olympics in Sydney saw U.S Olympic runner Suzy Favor Hamilton appear in a controversial TV spot for Nike that saw her tackle a chainsaw-wielding maniac in slasher-movie style. The ad's punchline, "why sport? You'll live longer" failed to turn the scary ad into the joke in which it was intended. 


Reebok doesn't upset anyone, but backs the wrong man

Reebok spent millions on an ad campaign (Dan & Dave) that championed the athletes Dan O’Brien and Dave Johnson ahead of the 1992 Barcelona games. The two American decathletes were expected to perform well but O’Brien, who held a world record in the sport, failed spectacularly when he was unable to clear the pole vault. He scored zero points for the event and failed to qualify for Barcelona.  


Kenneth Cole Spring Collection - Promotion FAIL!

Kenneth cole - Fail 1
Kenneth cole - Fail 2
Kenneth cole - Fail 3
Kenneth cole - Fail 4

15 March 2012

An offensive nose job love song - Fail!

I realise this title looks like I've just thrown some unrelated words together, but it actually refers to a marketing campaign for a plastic surgeon that has come under fire in the US. Dr Michael Salzhauer of Bal Harbour Surgery in Florida has commissioned a pop song called 'Jewcan Sam' from a band called The Groggers.

Continue reading "An offensive nose job love song - Fail!" »

05 January 2012

Naked man in children's clothing advert

Discovery of a naked man at an inconvenient moment is a situation that most of us, if we're really honest, have been confronted with at some point in our lives. An unplanned naked male can pose a number of difficulties in the home, the office and at some (but not all) social occasions. They can also be especially troublesome when you're shooting an advert. Especially when the ad is for children's clothing. 

Pity then, the poor marketing manager at La Redoute who (hopefully) inadvertently passed this image to appear on the clothing company's online shop. 

La Redoute

My French is a little rusty but I expect the hastily issued apology on La Redoute's Facebook page: "“Nous allons renforcer le processus de validation de l’ensemble des communications de la marque pour que cela ne puisse se reproduire à l’avenir", roughly translates as "whoops, sorry". I expect it help drive traffic to the site though.


24 November 2011

ADL slams 'anti-Semitic' vodka billboards

A series of billboards advertising Wódka vodka in New York has been condemmed by the US Anti-Defamation League as anti-Semitic.

Continue reading "ADL slams 'anti-Semitic' vodka billboards" »

Qantas competition twisted by Twitter


The airline industry and Twitter were never going to get along. As a method of getting about, air travel is dependent on so many variables that delays, cancellations and missed flights are going to be inevitable. Frequent flyers are used to all manner of disruptions called by fog, mechanical failure, ice on the runway and refuelling delays – and this assuming that the air traffic control staff aren’t on strike in one of the countries you have to fly over in order to reach your destination.

Continue reading "Qantas competition twisted by Twitter" »

20 October 2011

Why the Müller ad is rubbish: The debate continues

YogiYogi Bear stars in the Muller ad. Watch the full clip here

I never thought that when I ranted about the rubbish new Müller ad it would generate such debate, or more accurately disagreement. Still at least I know how it feels to be Liz Jones at the Daily Mail. I have in fact received so much correspondence about the matter that I’m going to claim editor’s prerogative and argue my case further in another article.

Continue reading "Why the Müller ad is rubbish: The debate continues" »

10 October 2011

Advertising fail: Why the new Müller ad is rubbish

Brands that try to be too cool or too clever often find themselves coming unstuck. The latest brand that has let a creative idea run out of control is Müller, with its new Wünderful stuff TVC, and we weren't impressed with the results.


Continue reading "Advertising fail: Why the new Müller ad is rubbish" »

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