20 Hilarious Advertising Placement Fails

A group of people in a marketing department at a big company are tasked with buying ad placements to promote the company’s latest new product, or to revitalize an old one. The team hires a big ad agency to help them come up with clever images and headlines to help with sales. Everybody is excited about the concept. “It’s going to be great.” The marketing department buys in on the campaign. They take it to the executive team and they love it. Maybe it even goes to the Board of Directors. Everyone is pleased and excited about the upcoming launch.

And then the ads go live. All over the place. Blanketing the region or country with this amazing new ad campaign that’s going to increase brand awareness and drive a lot more sales. Just a matter of time before the marketing team gets a bonus. It’s good to be in marketing.

And then it’s not.

One day the CEO of the company is driving to work or flipping through a magazine, and “boom”, there it is. The ad, in all its glory. And next to it, or behind it, or wherever, is just the sort of thing that you don’t want your ad near. It’s unfortunate timing or just plain bad luck. Regardless, it’s going to make news. Lots of news. And while they say all news is good news, the CEO doesn’t see it this way, and that’s really unfortunate for the marketing team. “Who was in charge of the ad buys?” “How could this happen?”

Check out some of the hilarious advertising placement fails — or in some cases, branding placements not tested out in the wild — we came across recently. And while no people may have been harmed in the making of these ads, a few marketers may have suffered.