Embarrassing Advertising Misses from Big Brands

In this post, I want to go over some advertising designs that missed the mark. Whether it be a big company with a questionable visual or a smaller company with questionable fonts and layout choices, we will look at it all. Hold your hats, ladies and gentlemen, Workzone wrote an article highlighting some of the worst and it’s about to get cringy.

1. Starbucks

In 2002, Starbucks launched an ad featuring two summer beverages side by side in a spring scene with a dragon fly flying towards the drinks in the background. The massaging was “collapse into cool. Now, when I’m describing it, it probably doesn’t sound so bad. But when you see the ad you start to see what the problem might be with the design they chose…

SOOO yeah… as you can see, this ad stirred up some controversy in the community. From the two cups, to the square tipped grass, people were wondering if Starbucks was poking fun at the 9/11 catastrophe. Whether this was intentional or not, it missed the mark entirely by being offensive. Perhaps only one drink with a butterfly and a different caption would have been more well received by the public.

2. Fanta

The story of too many fonts never gets old. A good example of why you should stick to one font family is with this Fanta ad. We have it all in this one, serif and sans serif along with cursive and block letters oh my.

As you can see, it’s not the most effective design technique to fill your entire ad up with text that is broken up into many different hard to read fonts. The message easily gets lost and I’m not even sure what they want me to do in this ad. It did get some PR for being the first ever “testable” ad, although many thought it was as well received by the public as they probably anticipated. It’s probably just better to stick to a good design and paper that people can’t eat.

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