In an ever-evolving world of competition to keep our attention, ad campaigns that are catchy, memorable and/or downright thought-provoking encourage us to engage with brands and get to know them on a new level.
Sometimes those campaigns take a turn for the bizarre and outrageous, grabbing attention for other reasons. Here a few of the strangest ones we’ve seen over the years:
Skittles – “Taste the Rainbow” campaigns (2008 – ongoing)
The candy company took their slogan “Taste the Rainbow” and turned it into a series of campaigns revolving around the other senses and created an experience unique to them with surprising twists, turns and takes.
Dirt Devil – “The Exorcist” parody (2011)
Dirt Devil used an out-there approach for their brand back in 2011 by creating a parody of the film “The Exorcist”. This haunting scene combines rising tension and spooky scenes to incorporate their brand.
The commercial may have been ‘too creative’ though, as it was banned from television stations in Germany where the vacuum company planned to run it.
Mountain Dew Kickstart – “Puppy Monkey Baby” (2016)
Who remembers this creepy chimera? To help launch their new Kickstart beverage, Mountain Dew created the Puppy Monkey Baby ads during 2016’s Super Bowl 50. This advert remained in our minds as one of the strangest we’ve seen to date.
“Did You Mean MailChimp?” series – “MailShrimp” (2017)
Capitalizing on the mispronunciation of the company’s name during a live podcast, MailChimp created this parody series with several name variations including this oddball of an example:
Here’s a list of their other variations via The Inspiration Room, including “JailBlimp” and “KaleLimp.”
Little Baby’s Ice Cream – “Love Lickers” (2012)
Equal parts hypnotic and disturbing, Little Baby’s Ice Cream’s “Love Lickers” campaign loops you through their ad with a general feeling of unease the whole way through.
Ice cream anyone…?
You have to commend them on their weird approach, though, as last year the Philly-based company raked in over $1 million last year due to their (continued) strange ads.
- Budweiser’s “Wassup” commercials (1999-2002)
- Quizno’s singing Spongmonkeys (2003-2004)
- Dorito’s ultrasound baby – Super Bowl 50 (2016)
- Squatty Potty’s commercials (2015-ongoing)
- Sony’s PlayStation 3 baby doll (2006)
What can we learn from these types of ads? Your content needs to stand out and stick with people. It’s also okay to push some boundaries, take risks and create a unique experience – that’s what made these ads and their brands memorable.
However, be sure to do your research and gather feedback before swinging for the fences – and if you do – keep it in moderation so your audience can recognize your brand. As you can imagine, not all of the ads featured here brought out feel-good moments for their viewers.
Did we miss any of your favorites? Need help vetting your out-of-the-box campaign? Get in touch and let us know!