Really? I would like to know. I saw this sign and thought, is it possible that these designers/advertisers know that they are producing bad ads and therefore spend more media dollars plastering their ads everywhere? It doesn’t seem like that would be a good solution. Wouldn’t we just get more irritated by seeing these bad ads more often and therefore want to buy the product less? Maybe people really don’t understand and think their ads are good. Or maybe they know their ads are bad, but it’s faster to produce bad ads and therefore they can produce more of them? I’d like to hear what other people think…why is there so much more bad advertising than good?

I’ve also added some ads that I thought were successful. They are to the point, simple, funny and kept me interested in seeing what the next scenario would be.






  1. Additives

    “Wouldn’t we just get more irritated by seeing these bad ads more often and therefore want to buy the product less?”

    Media in itself is a powerful form of persuasion, and persuasive media is based on repetition. I think you have to dig deeper than “irritation” and delve further into the subconcious of the consumer. I never took advertising 101 but I know the amount of time an individual looks at a single ad has to be very, very short, and it’s probable that the individuals making millions upon millions on these “bad ads” know this. So, I think the question is, what do they know that we don’t? They know simply that repitition is a powerful tool of persuasion.

    A small example. Most South Koreans will not visit the U.S. because they think that everyone in the States has a gun. Korean news channels, much like American stations, repeat daily that Joe Blow couldn’t handle being fired so he shot up the factory where he worked and killed ten people. The average Korean is absolutely terrified of visiting the United States, and when you ask them why, they point their index finger, raise their thumb and say “gun.” Should the Korean masses be deathly araid of the U.S.? No. What has made them afraid: the media’s repetitive focus on civilian violence.
    My point is that many people believe in what they are, or what they allow themselves to be, exposed to.

  2. Fil

    The first commenter makes a really good point with the South Korean analogy. The same applies in Japan, a VERY media centric country where ads—both good and bad—are plastered EVERYWHERE just to get the “word” out and possibly influence any takers.

  3. Additives

    I agree with Fil, and to avoid giving in to these repetitive, “bad’ ads it’s healthy to ask yourself every once in awhile, “Why did I stop by Sonic and buy a blizzard? Or, why did I rent a movie at Blockbuster after work?”

  4. Mary

    Very good points. But I also agree it is totally annoying to see bad ads.

  5. Additives

    Mary, you’re missing the point. Here it is: It doesn’t matter if ads are bad, annoying or anything else. The companies pasting the ads everywhere are making a lot of money, and they could care less what you think. If you or anyone sees enough of the same ad it’s going to, at some point, subconciously affect your behavior, or force you to think or do what you otherwise wouldn’t if you had never seen the ad.
    I remember once when I was in Blockbuster the phrase ran through my head a couple of times, “Make it a Blockbuster night.”

  6. Fil

    Yes, its annoying to see bad advertising. But Additives does have a point that regardless if they are bad, annoying, etc, the companies producing them are rather effective that eliciting the desired response, which is your average person buying or making use of XYZ product/service. Likewise good advertising can be used in the very same way.

    On another note, here’s some cool advertising by a clothing company in Japan called Uniqlo http://www.uniqlo.jp/uniqlock/
    They change it every once in awhile too.

  7. Additives

    Yea Fil good point. One ad in particular, an ad I think that proves it’s possible for huge corporations to take risks and make money at the same time, is the Geico ad where the caveman is standing on the moving walkway through the airport in his tennis garb, and sees a simple Geico ‘so easy a caveman can do it’ poster, and then goes out of the scene for a moment and walks back to look again at the poster. Some catchy, brilliant 80’s electro pop plays throughout and pulls the whole scene together. The fact that there’s no dialogue and the ad works is both tricky and intelligent. That the ad is an ‘ad within an ad’ makes it all the more brilliant.

  8. Ashlee

    Huge corporations taking risks and making money is not bad advertising though. I agree that Geico ad is simple, tricky, and intelligent. We should take risks in advertising, I think that helps make better advertising. Bad advertising usually is not creative and new. I don’t think you guys have hit on a good “bad advertising” example yet.
    So I guess you guys are agreeing with the sign. Since the ads are bad, they need to be repeated often to stick in peoples’ minds. I don’t believe good advertising needs that repetitiveness though, even though it happens. However, and this may just be the designer in me, when I see bad advertising it irritates me and I will sometimes hold a grudge. Or if an ad isn’t even designed well I will not give it enough attention to even find out what the product or service is.

  9. Amigo

    Research show that 80% of all advertising is ignored. We simply can’t process all the messages put in front of us every day. It’s impossible. So the point is that as a company do you want to spend a dumb dollar or a smart dime? Dumb dollar: produce wallpaper ads that are mostly ignored but through spending significantly more on media placement you do get a % of the 20% every once in a while. Smart dime: Create ads that engage and get remembered; get passed along to millions of eyes through the channels of social media, talked about at the coffee shop or break room or carpool all with less media exposure required. All because you took the time to respect the consumer’s time by delivering the value of entertainment!! El gato es gordo, aribaaa!

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