YesButNoButYes: Ten Creepiest Icons in Advertising History

Over at YesButNoButYes they’ve amassed a top ten list of the Creepiest Icons in Advertising History and I agree with it completely except for their number one pick and that’s only because I’d never heard of it prior to seeing that list, though it is admittedly pretty creepy.

Here’s the number 8 choice:

Everyone that lives in Mentos World

I remember when the Mentos commercials first came on. You needed to watch them like, two or three times to figure out if it was you or them. Then you’d go through this whole thought process thing…Do they know how weird these are? Are they making fun of other weird commercials? Is there a place in Europe where people really act like this? Is this some sort of plot? Are those people that all wore Nikes actually dead? What country did the nazis they didn’t catch go to? You know what, I still don’t know what the deal was, and all the Foo Fighters videos in the world won’t make them seem any less freaky. If anyone’s ever spoken with the people that made these spots, I think the entire planet would love to know just what the hell they were thinking.

I’ve long hated the Mentos commercials. Hate ‘em, hate ‘em, hate ‘em. Which is saying a lot because I don’t hate many things. So what would be my pick for the Number 1 creepiest advertising icon? Why Tanqueray’s idiot spokesman Tony Sinclair, of course.

5 thoughts on “YesButNoButYes: Ten Creepiest Icons in Advertising History

  1. That first one (HeadOn) is extra creepy!

    Check out Randi

    The latest major medical swindle being offered the American public is a raucously-cracked-up product we’ve now been introduced to through a massive TV advertising campaign. It’s named, “Head On,” a small waxy stick that one rubs directly on the forehead to relieve headaches. It sells for $8. Looking into it, I found it was – great surprise! – a homeopathic “remedy.” Each .2-ounce (<6 grams!) stick contains a "12X" concentration (?) of White Bryony - a type of vine - as one of the two active ingredients. That means that the whole damn stick contains 1 part of ingredient in 1,000,000,000,000 parts of wax, or a stick contains .000,000,000,005,67 grams of "ingredient!"

    ...

    What insanity. This product is proudly featured by Walgreen's Pharmacies. Note in the photo that this fake - and another piece of quackery seen at the right side of the photo - "The Power of Magnets" for migraine relief! - are placed among legitimate products that actually do work. This is called, association by reputation.

    Head On: it's a scam for the deluded.
    Head On: it's a scam for the deluded.
    Head On: it's a scam for the deluded.

    It’s nothing more than a blob of wax, a blob of wax, a blob of wax! rolleyes

  2. Interestingly enough I never saw the shortened version of the commercial before it became a big Internet meme, but I had seen the longer version where they explained it was supposed to cure headaches. Apparently the shorter version was a result of a complain from the FDA that they were making unproven medical claims in the ad.

    Their solution was to drop all claims and just repeat a simple instruction on what to do with it. No claims = no violation of the rules for herbal supplements. You can sell just about any crap product you want via that method.

  3. Call me backward (or Lucky smile  ) but I’ve not seen any of those ads.
    I think you can buy Mentos here but I’ve only heard of Tanqueray thru SEB.
    Then again, I watch very little Commercial TV – I’m not into masochism. LOL
    If I do watch CTV I either mute the ads or switch channels resulting, in either case, that I often miss part of the show.
    Having said that I’m sure someone in Oz could come up with a list like that.  wink

  4. I don’t watch TV much either, but sadly when I was younger I came across most of the ads listed.  For the number one spot I was always partial to the Burger King guy, and thought man how creepy would that really be if he came up to you.  Especially the one where he wakes up next to the guy, in bed with him, and says (in that creepy soothing low tone), “Hey guy…”

  5. I liked the FedEx Fast Talker —his fast talking wasn’t a trick.  The biggest creep out ads for me are the current Burger King ads – with that plastic king.  The forehead commercial was probably the stupidist ad.

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