Now and then, you find yourself looking at some pretty lousy marketing – when you realize that marketers, magazine editors, and advertisers failed to check their work. From questionable font choices to poor use of grammar, we’ve put together a list of advertising techniques gone wrong!
Apparently, this company meant to say “mirror” and not a window. Or, they did intend to and just completely forgot about how the world works for the time it took to slap this thing on.
This doesn’t seem like a very solid advertising campaign for a company that claims they put these on professionally. Maybe they just opened? Hopefully, they’ve got it down by now.
No Thank You, Sir
The font choice on this work uniform may end up getting these delivery people arrested (or hit on) depending on where it is that they are! Alternatively, if they happened to stroll through the right crowd, maybe they’d get a different type of reaction. But it’s probably best not to take any chances, and just redo the tops, instead.
Did no one check to make sure they looked okay before they were used? Yikes! We wonder how many people want whatever this company is selling.
We Got it The First Time, Anna
Perhaps it was the blind onion next door that put together Anna’s sign. It sure seems like they went a little overboard with the whole “food mart,” thing, doesn’t it?
Okay, we get it, you’re a food mart. Geez. Wouldn’t the large print be sufficient enough to tell us that, though? The smaller words in the middle and at the bottom of the sign aren’t helpful. If anything, they’re just confusing. Did Anna really think this advertising sign was a good idea?
This Is Why Punctuation Is Important
This is a case of someone who was either too lazy to use some simple punctuation marks or wasn’t entirely sure how to go about it. They could have laid that out a few different ways to differentiate between the lines.
But, since they didn’t, it seems like that restroom is designated only to the disabled elderly and the pregnant children. Next time use a couple of commas or even bullet points!
Can’t Get Through
Although it may seem as though someone's bag is covering the ad's phone number, that’s not the case. Nope, this company has, in fact, painted that orange backpack right over the last few digits of their number. This is a marketing fail, one that had to have at least gone through a couple of people to make it to the bench.
How do you expect to get business if no one knows how to get a hold of you in the first place? The bag also makes zero sense in the context of the ad, anyway!
Lost in Translation
Someone at this company took the easy way out when they were asked to translate a sign for this company. Instead of using a book or even google - they went to a translator service. They typed in whatever this sign was supposed to say - and what they received in return was a solid gold marketing fail!
The website they were using couldn't connect, and someone either wasn't paying attention or didn't know English that well because this is awkward! Hopefully, some kind-hearted tourists helped them out by pointing out the error!
This poorly placed advertisement takes away from what is happening in this ad! At first glance, this bus quite obviously belongs to some kind of robot baby-making facility.
But then you realize that all this is - is a marketing error - one so bad you forget what exactly it was you were looking at, to begin with!
Out of Order
This is another case of someone not thinking about how people read from left to right before top to bottom. So, it seems as though this signage says, “SASA LELE,” whatever that may be. Luckily, it looks easy enough to rearrange the letters.
Hopefully, the manager realized that was the issue when that sale wasn’t bringing in any customers. Or, maybe it was the manager who put it up in the first place?
Teach What You Know
No sane person would come anywhere close to buying this book. It certainly doesn't seem like it was written by an expert on the topic, to say the least. The cover looks like it was randomly thrown together with basic fonts and images, and the colors are bland and don’t go together.
They should consider taking some lessons on graphic design themselves! Apparently, the author has never heard, nor accepted, the excellent advice to “write what you know.” When you're advertising design, make sure you know how to design first!
Waiting for a Lift
This guy is probably feeling a little left out on the joke – if that’s even what this was. It was either that or someone just really didn’t think about proper placement for this sign.
When you're trying to make an ad with a point - the first thing you should do is try and think of everyone your advertisement could reach. Maybe this should be a few feet over near the actual entrance to the stairs instead.
Hammer Time Baby
Hey, always remember, if your baby is going to handle a hammer and nails, make sure they wear a hardhat. That way, if they’re going to hammer a plank to their thigh, at least their head will be protected. That sounds pretty ridiculous, doesn’t it?
But apparently, they teach kids to build things before they can even talk. The whole supervision thing doesn’t seem to be working, either, since disaster is one strike away.
Try Anything Once
Even if you were raised to try new things, you might be a little iffy about this one – we know we would be. This is why it’s essential to test your ads and make sure they look good (from all angles) before the public sees them.
Then again, maybe it’s been bringing in even more business. If not just to say, “you serve what now?”
Stick to Coffee
We love tea as much as anybody, but the person in charge of this design should've probably had that extra cup or two of coffee before they stuck this design template on an actual wall.
We understand how they could forget to erase the watermark from a screen but not to realize it while plastering it on the wall?! Unless this is meant to be a joke, which, to be honest, would kind of make the whole thing worse.
Count Dracula, Your Sales Representative
It looks like Mr. Greenberg is much more than a sales representative. He's Count Dracula! No wonder he's number one.
And to the design geniuses that decided to put a black tilted square behind a man's face to make it look like a vampire collar...thank you for this marketing fail!
We'll Take His Word for It
Bravo to Dr. Sam Daher and his wonderful 14-month Invisalign treatment, giving teenagers hope that nobody will ever have to find out they're wearing braces again! However, Dr. Daher should've stayed away from marketing and flyer design.
For future reference, doctor, a "Before and After" photo only works if you can see the difference, which is not the case since, for all we know, Brandon didn't have teeth in his "before" photo.
Self-Serve Kiosks for Drunks
Unless the guys at Taco Bell had the 2 AM drunks in mind when they built these self-serve kiosks, we don't know what to think.
Sure, it's perfectly convenient when you're wasted and want to place your order while you're lying unconscious on the floor, but if you're sober and taller than a five-year-old - this is extremely annoying.
Three is a Good Number
Whoever designed this sign should pay more attention to phrasing. We get it; the speed limit is 20 mph because there are children on the road. Still, it could also be perfectly misconstrued as absolutely insane advice from parents that went a bit overboard when they decided to try and have siblings for little Jimmy to play with.
Do not exceed 20? We'd strongly recommend not having more than three! Unless you're rich and have 150 nannies.
What Accident to Do?
Since when the majority of people read something, we understand it from left to right, and the top to bottom - this sign has it all wrong. They tried to make it legible by using different colors to separate the phrases, but it still just looks confusing.
What makes it even worse is that its a sign talking about car accidents. This is the kind of thing that causes anxiety attacks, and most people don't know what to do with those, either!
The New Sliding Door
Either that company really isn't living up to its name, or they came out with a super cool new patent for a "push & pull" sliding door. Marketing fail, we think yes!
Regardless of what happened here, we don't think any businesses will be calling The Sliding Door Company for new installations any time soon.
Come on, Disney
It took us a couple of seconds to realize what exactly was going on here, but man, once we got it! Really, Disney?! That's where you decided to cut the sign?
Thanks for trying to keep our kids safe, Disney. We appreciate it. Maybe you should look into hiring a better designer?
Worst Phrasing Ever
Kruger & Matz have just won the prize for the worst phrasing and marketing fail ever. We understand that English may not be your first language, but if you're going to advertise something, make sure it doesn't have a double meaning! Especially one like this!
Also, is it just us, or are these wired earphones being falsely advertised as wireless ones?
The Headless Schoolboy
Printing something on the side of a bus can be tricky - the proportions, the placing, the moving doors. However, this is why professionals usually do it because otherwise, this smiling child ends up looking like a decapitated schoolboy.
Whatever this ad was promoting, it's safe to say that sales won't see a significant increase this year.
They Care, Just Not About Her Eyes
We're sure that was a lovely-looking nurse, who fits in perfectly with the kind-hearted nature of the ad. However, the geniuses in charge of design just screwed this up beautifully. Now, the nice-looking woman looks like an alien with extremely separated eyes.
And we don't know about you, but that definitely wouldn't be our first choice next time we need to call a nurse.
To be fair, some of those cheeses do look like an utterly delicious slice of cake. However, when looking over at that almost empty cup of coffee, thinking they used a tray of cheese as the dipping snacks just make us feel a little sick.
It's a lovely picture, though. Too bad they weren't advertising cheese.
The Mice Bag
Come on, McDonald's! You've been around long enough to know the importance of proper marketing. Then again, they're truly offering a sweet deal right there. One dollar for 10 pounds of mice? That's a bargain.
Just the phrase you want to see at your favorite fast-food restaurant - "10 lb. bag of mice."
We feel bad for this travel agency. They really chose the worst place to put those quotation marks. Enjoy your "safe" vacations on a strange Greek island. We dare you.
The picture is perfect; the family is great; all the other writing is done correctly. But it's just impossible not to think that something terrible will happen if you dare visit the "safe" island of Rhodes in Greece.
Customers Must Lick Bagels
This sign leads us to wonder what the owners of this bagel shop meant to print on this sign. Tongs or tongue? Which is the correct bagel picking tool the above sign asks customers to use? All jokes aside, it is almost certain the makers of this sign accidentally made a typo, unintentionally and unknowingly typing ‘tongue’ instead of ‘tongs.’
Not only is this spelling mistake unprofessional, but it also probably lead to much confusion amongst customers picking out their bagels for the day. Whatever the story may be behind this hilariously misspelled sign, it most definitely emphasizes the importance of double-checking your work before printing out the final copy!
Bees in the rest stop’s bathroom? We'll hold it till the next restroom stop. Though the origins of the location of the above warning sign remain unknown, it sure is a poor way to advertise a restroom!
We figure this sign was probably put up either as a joke or as a means to keep away unwanted restroom visitors...
Odds Are, It’s Probably Haunted.
Rule of real-estate thumb: if a house for sale on the market is advertised as “Not Haunted,” it is more likely than not, haunted. In our personal opinion, this sounds like something a ghost realtor would say!
Despite this attempt to bring more attention to his business, we're sure this did the opposite, which is why we're calling this a marketing nightmare. Regardless of these claims, we’re still quite skeptical. What do you think?
Watch Your Wheelchair’s Step!
In what strange, alternate universe, is a wheelchair user able to wheel up a flight of stairs? The world may never know. Sadly, the above sign is not the result of a new form of wheelchair stair-stepping technology. No, this sign is simply the result of poor design.
While the creator of this confusing signage attempted to utilize the sign to convey a potentially hazardous situation ahead, by placing a graphic a wheelchair going up a set of stairs, this sign’s designer ultimately fails to convey the sign’s intended warning message!
Laugh Out Loud
What should one do upon spotting someone drowning in the ocean? LOL first, then call 911. This pro safety tip is brought to you by the above, very confusing warning sign placed near a beach. Indeed, according to this warning sign, if you spy someone drowning in the nearby waters, you simply must have a good, hearty laugh. Leave the emergency dialing for later.
Only after lol-ing should you alert the authorities, and bring the drowning person the help they so desperately need. In the case of the above extremely misleading sign, it is another classic case design. We're guessing whoever designed these got laid off pretty soon after these signs were put up...LOL!
No Pants, No Service?
No shoes, no shirt, no service? No, in this case, it is wearing pants that will get you kicked out of this place. “Sandals only. Strictly enforced. NO PANTS ALLOWED.” What the sign really means is that only "Sandals" resort residents are allowed inside the pool, perhaps they should have used added the word "guests."
Now that we have that marketing mayhem cleared up, the real question is, why aren't pants allowed?
This sign excels in honesty, but it's still hard to believe someone would want to get in there. Maybe they should have thought of a better advertising technique? Possibly one that doesn't put all the cards on the table at once.
Eating and getting gas are two things we know we would walk into a place for - but worms? No, thank you! Perhaps they should have lured people in with the first two, and then surprised them with the worms? Just a thought!
Sorry, We're Open
As signs go, this one is pretty confusing. Not only will people not be sure if they are open or closed, but it also probably won’t attract too many people inside.
Maybe someone should let them know that they shouldn’t be sorry about being open.
They say it’s essential to diversify your business. This person took it very seriously and decided to offer two services that you might not combine naturally.
It's either that, or they made a huge marketing mistake. But then again, you can never know if psychic karate could be for you.
Beware of the Sign
There's nothing more dangerous than a sign. Its bright yellow color, the black font, the "sharp" edges. Far more dangerous than the bridge beyond it.
We do appreciate the humor, though, since obviously, whoever made this sign meant it as a joke. And if you're not convinced, just read the cheeky fine print below that reads, "Also, The Bridge Is Out Ahead."
Very Good Advice
In all fairness, it is probably best to remove the child from the clothing before throwing it in the washing machine. Especially since we're talking about a "size 3 to 4 years"! Not that throwing anyone, at any age, in a washing machine would be any better.
The most worrying thing about this label is that this doesn't seem to be a grammar mistake or a question of a missing letter or punctuation. Did they mean to write the word "child" there?!
The Best Nation In The Nation!
And this is precisely why America is "the best country in the nation," because not only is America a country, and not an entire continent, but it is also the best country within one country!
Bravo guys! We sincerely advise brushing up on your geography and grammar lessons. To avoid next time's marketing fail.
Is That Necessary?
We applaud this store's willingness to help its customers above and beyond, but really, guys? We don't think adult people need a demonstration on how to use a toilet.
And also, if someone were to ask for a demonstration, how would it go down? Personally, we would be very tempted to ask just to see what happens.
We're not sure what we think about this one! On the one hand, it could be considered as marketing fail - we wouldn't recommend this place if you're looking for a nice "Fish & Chips" place to take your Nemo-loving kids. And if you do, at least cover their eyes on the way in!
On the other hand, we have to give them points for creativity, though. If you're over the age of 12, you're sure to have a big laugh with this one.
Do They Have Your Attention?
To spice things up, we put in a marketing mastermind! Whoever made this sign is a marketing genius. It is simply fantastic. Obviously, the person that was responsible for the restaurant’s publicity knew what they were doing. They know that putting up the word “SEX” in the joint’s main window is undoubtedly going to make every passerby stop.
And even if they don’t end up eating there, they will surely remember the place. Now that they have your attention, why not eat there?
Doherty, Sean Doherty
This sign is a bit confusing. Is Sean Doherty trying to sell houses or water guns? We really hope it’s the latter. He could be the first-ever door to door water gun salesman, helping with all your streamy needs.
If he ever showed up at our doorstep, we would probably be more interested in purchasing a water gun than a house. Although admittedly, his suit does seem a bit fancy for getting drenched in water.
If the point of this sign was for people not to feed the cats at this place, then they did a really great job. I may never feed my cat again after this strict warning. What does it even mean? Hopefully, this was just a typo, and they indicated that “violators will be removed from the property.”
That sounds slightly more reasonable. As is, it seems like violators will "be trespassed." By who? And how? That sounds like an extreme punishment just for some cat feeding.
Letting Off Some Steam
This clothing store should call someone to check on their lighting situation because we’re not sure what kind of people it’s going to attract as a “Swearhouse.” It sounds like a perfect place to blow off some steam. Also, the suits in the window class up the joint, so you know you’re going to be mixing with some high-class clientele while doing your swearing.
Hey mister, just because bad words are allowed doesn’t mean this is a shabby place. You know what? I think they should leave the lights as it is. There seems to be a lot of exciting business opportunities in the swearhouse.
This was a lovely idea to raise some money for a worthy cause, but something got jumbled along the way. Although we all wish we could eradicate childhood diabetes, getting into fistfights with young sufferers is probably not the way to do it.
The point they wanted to make is obvious, but they really should have had someone else look this over before they rushed out to print signs. On a more positive note, a Christmas bazaar and craft show sounds lovely and an excellent place to get some holiday shopping done!
Starbucks Ain’t Got Nothing on Them
We are intrigued. Good for TireDiscounters for trolling the Pumpkin Spice Latte phenomenon and reminding us all that there is more to life than a warm and delicious PSL.
The new trend this fall is PSR, and frankly, it’s time for a change. Though, you could take Pumpkin Spice Rubber to a completely different place, in which case - you've got yourself a marketing fail!
If my feet are shoes, why don’t they keep me warm in the winter? These questions and others will make this sign a staple in any philosophy class around. Even better, this sounds like a great assignment, please a paper by Wednesday discussing the theory of feet being shoes.
Though we've got to say, the advertisement fail is only relevant when the "B" stops glowing. The sign makes this look more like an existential google search than a shoe store. The 50% off sign in the window clearly shows that business is not booming.
In Case You Were Planning To
Apparently, the people that put up this sign don't have much faith in humanity. We understand why there would be several safety signs around a swimming pool, but 'Do Not Breathe Under The Water'? Seriously?
We'd certainly hope that whoever decides to go swimming would have enough basic common sense not to try and breathe underwater. But hey, then again, you never know.
Parked Illegally? You're Fine
Illegally parked? Don't worry about it; the car will be fine. This sign is just absolutely hilarious. It's incredible what just a small missing letter can do; if only they had remembered to put the "d" at the end of "fine."
Although we must say, we're happy they didn't catch that mistake because this is 'laughing out loud' material. And it's nice to know that even the illegally parked cars will be fine!
Poles Are for Your Safety
Hold the pole, not our attention! Here, makers of this subway sign made it very known that there is to be no practicing dance of any kind on the poles of this moving vehicle. The message is clear: a subway car is not the place to put on a show.
An effort ignited to target unruly, discourteous behavior or trains and buses in the Big Apple signs like the above intended to serve as a reminder of proper rider etiquette when on the subway.
Jumping Gay Walrus
This had us laughing out loud, which we’re sure was the sign’s intention, because what would really be the problem with a gay walrus that wants to jump back into the sea? What exactly are they advertising here?
Anyways, you should be careful; walruses are quite massive. So yeah, maybe you should look over your shoulder to see if there are any hanging around.