Since I work for a company that specializes in marketing, I pay more attention to ads than the average Chicagoan. For the most part I don’t spend more than about 3-4 seconds on any one ad, but lately I have found myself lingering more around ones that are humorous or ones that make me ask the question “why?” or even a combination of the two. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the ad itself, but merely the placement of it. The placement of an ad can potentially give viewers a different perception than what was initially intended. Resulting in a huge “FAIL.”
I had a FAIL encounter at my gym, where I saw ads placed above the urinals in the men’s locker room. One said, “50% off Women’s Apparel.” This make me ask the question, “Why is there an ad for women’s clothing in a men’s bathroom?” I also found myself thinking that this is a very awkward placement for an ad in general. Yes I realize that most bars do the same thing, but I think I am less offended by the urinal ad in a bar restroom because of the environment. However this has gotten me thinking about other awkwardly placed ads and whether or not the designer had any idea where the intended placement would be while laying it out.
In my experience I have designed numerous ads, but was always given a reference of where the final ad placement would be. Although, this is not always the case: sometimes when placing your ad on a page or in public, you can’t really be certain what other ads will be positioned around it or, sometimes, where the location of the ad will be. This often results in hilarious juxtapositions.
Here is a list of such jaw-dropping occurrences:
This particular ad for “ArrangementFinders.com,” featuring a porn star, was placed on a billboard across from Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s in Chicago, IL, in plain sight for families to see. Let’s just say it was quickly taken down.
The placement of this childhood obesity ad right next to a McDonald’s ad could potentially be an issue for certain viewers, but also might be cleverly placed to get people to stop and think.
This ad placement for Yahoo might only be ironic to techies, but the number 404 refers to an error message indicating that the client was unable to communicate with the server.
I don’t have any words for the positioning of these ads; I believe the FAIL is self-explanatory.
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