Okay, It’s Time to Play “How Stupid Can Marketers Get?”

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by Mike Keeler

Let’s say you work for a shoe store chain, and you want to tell people how great your shoes are.  Here’s the pitch for a TV spot.  A bunch of white guys in a Hummer are cruising the Serengeti, apparently in search of big game.  (What drama.)  They find the tracks of their quarry, and set off in pursuit.  (Ooh, this is getting good.)  They come upon their prey, but (hold on, here’s the funny twist) it’s not an animal, it’s a shoeless Kenyan black marathon runner. They drug the poor guy, who falls to the ground unconscious.  And when he wakes up (stop it, you’re killing us!) he’s had running shoes molded permanently onto his feet.  (Please, we can’t breathe!!) And as you’re wiping the tears of hilariousity out of your eyes, you might almost miss the runner’s reaction:  He looks skyward and screams in despair, NOOOOO!!!

And here’s the best part:  when retail store Just for Feet decided to actually produce this mess, they aired it on the Super Bowl!  Yep, they spent $2MM bucks to make a horrible racist joke that centers on how world class athletes DON’T WANT THEIR PRODUCT! (HA HA HA!!!!)

And they ain’t the only idiots.  How about Ford making fun of factory workers who’ve lost their jobs?  Burger King equating themselves with Herb, the world’s most annoying and tasteless man?  Holiday Inn comparing their renovation to a transsexual returning to their high school reunion?

Yep, they all aired on the Super Bowl.  And now you can relive them in all their tasteless glory.  This week Advertising Age is asking folks to vote for the worst spot in the history of  the big game.  You can vote for your favorite at http://adage.com/superbowl.

And, come February 6, keep an eye out for the next truly awful spot, and play “Which CMO Will Lose Their Job This Year?”