The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

When Ad’s Attack …
February 6, 2007, 9:44 am
Filed under: Comment

I have to highlight one of the fucking worst ads I’ve seen in a very, very, very long time.

Yeah I noticed it … so some of you out there will probably claim they’ve done their job … but I don’t believe in pure brand awareness because ultimately anyone can achieve that by just running down the road naked with a turkey on their privates. 

As far as I am concerned, ALL advertising must motivate a positive action of some sort [be it physical, mental, emotional] and all these ads did was make me sick.

Yep … Mr Fat Fuck Travolta … not that you’d know it given the amount of airbrushing his picture has had.

Can you get a more condescending ad???

“Profession: Pilot.  Career: Actor.”  Give me strength.

Lots of watch companies use celebrities to endorse their brand … however the usual strategy is to use someone who is relevant and has a degree of aspirational appeal. 

Sure, years ago Travolta maybe fitted that criteria, but then years ago, I had perfect eyesight and hair … things change.

Given Travolta is some washed out, overpaid actor who happens to fly, do Breitling really think that is going to make me want to rush out and buy one of their watches? 

Do they think that is going to make me look cool?  It won’t make me look cool, it’ll make me look a complete tosser as this ‘sketch’ demonstrates …

Person 1: “Wow, nice watch, is that the pilot edition Breitling?”

Person 2: “Sure is … it’s the same one John Travolta wears”

Person 1: “John Travolta?  But isn’t he an actor?

Person 2: “Yeah, but he’s a pilot too”

Person 1: “Is that what he has to do now, given his film career has gone down the pan?”

Person 2: “No, he’s a really well known, successful actor who happens to be a pilot as well. This watch shows the World I’m successful and like flying!”

Person 1: “But you don’t fly and Travolta made films like Michael – and that was shit”

Person 2: “What about Pulp Fiction?  Grease?”

Person 1: “What about them?”

Person 2: “They were cool … which means he is cool … which means I am cool because I’m wearing the same watch as him”

Person 1: “No … because Travolta made Michael AFTER those supposedly cool flicks, which means he’s a sad bastard scientologist, which makes you a sad bastard scientologist for wearing the same watch as him”

Person 2: “Are you saying this watch makes me look a cock?”

Person 1: “Yep”

Person 2: “Damn, I knew I should have bought the 007 Omega!”

See … unequivocal evidence this watch immediately shows you as the sad, ex-starfucker you are. 

Not only that, but if you were a professional pilot, would you really want to own a a watch that some ‘actor’ and part-time pilot uses? It’s the equivalent of Eddie Van Halen buying a Fender Strat because Michael J Fox played one in ‘Back To The Future’.

This ad has single-handidly made sure I will NEVER, EVER, EVER will buy a Breitling watch … which is probably not the sort of response you’d want with your communication! 

Celebrity endorsement can be a great thing for a brand … but if you choose the wrong person, you can inflict massive damage to your brand.  A case in point is Viagra.

Years ago we were asked to think of a celebrity to endorse this product.  They wanted someone globally recognised, who was older than 40 and generally fit and healthy.

Because it is … lets be honest … a sex aid for men, we thought the best person to be the global ambassador was ex Formula 1 champion, James Hunt.


Well because apart from being pretty well known, over 40 [sort-of] and generally healthy [again, sort-of] Mr Hunt was famous for having the sex drive of a bull!

In essence, he was the poster boy for sexual stamina … with our favourite story being he once made love to a sponsors wife within 10 minutes of meeting her. The racing crew – aware of Hunt’s sexual habits – made sure her husband was kept unaware of what was going on by showing him around the racing car.  Hunt won the race and then ‘bagged’ a Miss World contestant that night.

OK … so the problem was that James Hunt had been dead for years … but with the wonders of technology, we knew we could resurrect him’ and get him to explain how Viagra could help you enjoy the life he once had. 

We knew we hadn’t won the business when within seconds of us detailing the idea, the client said we were positioning Viagra as a ‘Promiscuity Pill’ [which it wasn’t, but would have probably made it even more popular if we had!] but even we were surprised when months later, they announced Pele was going to be their global ambassador.

Pele?  PELE? 

Had anyone even seen him with a woman?  

Hell, Ken [from Barbie] has more sexual action than he does.  Lets be honest, the only ball action Pele is synonymous with is the one he uses in football matches

Of course the product went on to be very successful but it wasn’t because of ads was it … I mean, do people really want to think of Pele when you pop a blue pill and get ready for some ‘action’?  [If you do, please don’t tell me about it]

So there you go … celebrity endorsement can be both positive and negative … but I was wondering if any of you can think of other good [read: bad] examples I should mention?

40 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Pele and anything is a bad celebrity endorsement.

Comment by Pete

Paris Hilton and that stupid prosecco in a can. Stupid woman, stupid product… oh hang on. damn.

Comment by Marcus Brown

What are you going on about????

Comment by Rob

Love the Eddie Van Halan comparison, thats spot on.

I love how in the pele ads he says “Get help, I would.” Thereby removing ANY shred of doubt that he ever needed them… HA!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

That’s because Pele has never had sex!

Comment by Rob

Pele vs Cliff Richard

Now thats a battle.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Cliff wins … he has a colostomy bag! Allegedly.

Comment by Rob

Trovolta has a landing strip in his garden. Idiot.

Comment by Marcus Brown

I saw a photo of it … it made me sicker than the sickest person in sicksville!

Comment by Rob

James Hunt… that would be genius. I always find the concept of using dead celebs to sell goods; like the 5 ads on now here using Elvisalikes to sell their wares.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Trovolta makes me seriously serioulsy angry. I had to watch that bloody Michael film with my ex-wife… who looooved it. I was spitting blood.

Comment by Marcus Brown




Comment by Rob Mortimer

don’t even get me started on that WASTE OF FILM.

Comment by Marcus Brown

At least he turned down Grease 2…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

makes me what to rip somebody arm off and beat them with the soggy end.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Wouldn’t James Hunt of been great?

If memory serves me we looked at all sorts of ‘well known sexual letharios’ but he just stood out. [probably because of the erection viagra gave him, haha!]

Comment by Rob

I am very happy with the way this post is going.

Comment by Marcus Brown

The cockney rhyming connotations are brilliant too…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

A well known, randy over 40 year old? Hmm, can’t believe you didn’t go for Prince Charles or perhaps Bill Clinton.

Comment by Stan Lee

“I DID have sexual relations with that woman, all thanks to…”

Comment by Rob Mortimer

“hard as a Cohiba”

Comment by Marcus Brown

What about Fidel Castro?

Been standing up against the US for 50 years…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

brilliance right there.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Kim Jong,

weapon of mass …

Comment by Marcus Brown

Wouldnt they just go for the bad pornpun and call him Kim Dong?

Good grief… where the hell has this thread gone??

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Thank the Lord Andy is in Argentina or he’d be contributing millions of Porn Star names for this blog’s fast descent into hell.

Carry on … I [sort-of] look forward to seeing where this ends up in the morning!

Comment by Rob

I can see that ad actually working though. Difficult to sell, but working like a dream.

Comment by Marcus Brown

“For weapons of mass destruction… if you can find them”

Comment by Rob Mortimer

2 men in a pub …

James Hunt: “I took some of that viagra thing”.

Friend: “Oh yeah … did it work?”

James Hunt: “Hell yeah, my knob resembled a massive rocket”.

Friend: “WOW, what do all your girlfriends think of that?”

James Hunt: “Oh they’re over the moon”

VIAGRA: Makes Your Knob As Powerful As A Rocket Faster Than James Hunt’s Formula 1 Car.

Comment by Rob

poster. printed on rough natural paper. Communist silk screen printy style. Kim Jong poiting to the future. Rockets in the background.

claim: Let them know who’s boss.

Comment by Marcus Brown

or: size isn’t everything.

Comment by Marcus Brown

or: fuck you.

Comment by Marcus Brown

I’m sorry, I’m off on one now.

A series of sweet looking old men. Simple claim: “fuck you” (which could be toned down to screw you).

Comment by Marcus Brown

What about an 70 year old veteran raising the star spangled banner… “This isnt the only thing I put up every day”


Comment by Rob Mortimer

not sure this is going to work. But here we go:

Comment by Marcus Brown

didn’t work.

Comment by Marcus Brown


Comment by Rob Mortimer

I tried to sneak a picture in a comment. Sent it to Rob per mail.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Which Rob did you send the email to? I didn’t get one this morning.

Comment by Rob

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