What were they thinking?
That’s about all you ask from the marketers on this list of 2014 brand fails, which run the gamut from arrogant to sexist to obscene to just plain stupid. Settle in and get your annual dose of ad-enfreude from these deliciously embarrassing marketing moments.
Whatever you did or didn’t accomplish this year, be thankful you weren’t this dumb.
What’s the best way to sell mattresses? Not by depicting Malala Yousafzai being shot by the Taliban, and then bouncing back (get it?) off a Kurl-On mattress to accept a humanitarian award. Ogilvy India apologized for the ad, and rightly so.
It was a great year for female empowerment. Unless you were Subway, in which case you told women to eat right so they’d be sexier in their sexy Halloween costumes. The ad was pulled from YouTube.
Life Alert’s old “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” ads were cheesy. This one was bloodcurdlingly weird—showing an old lady screaming in a heap at the bottom of a flight of stairs. It mostly prompted a lot of screaming by visitors to the brand’s Facebook page.
Check out the rest of the fails here.