Marketing Mayhem Fall/Winter 2011 Roundup

It’s finally 2012, which means an obligatory end-of-the-year “best of” list.

In my case, it’s more of a best-of-the-worst list. It’s also a great way to string a bunch of pictures I took of random weird marketing things together into a single, cohesive post. Let’s get to it!

The award for the Most Dada-esque Design goes to….

Trader Joe’s for their use of a cracked-out looking lemur on a box of black tea. Trader Joe’s packaging is usually pretty campy, but this is straight out of a surrealist art game. Why a lemur? Why does it look so cracked-out? The world may never know.

The Conrad Hilton Mouse-in-a-Hotel Award goes to…

Kleenex for this box of tissues designed to…look like mint chocolate chip ice cream.

In the episode of Mad Men that inspired this award, Conrad Hilton presents Don Draper with an ad by a competing agency for the Hilton hotels. The crappy ad features a cartoon mouse, which prompts Don Draper to quip, “No one wants to think about a mouse in a hotel.” Yeah well, no one wants to think about mint chip ice cream as they’re blowing away their boogers either, Kleenex.

The Frustrated Copywriter Award goes to…

Tully’s Coffee, for this line on the package of their laziness-enabling Keurig cups: “..smoky flavors reminiscent of a quaint Parisian cafe. The sophisticated finish highlights the coffee’s sweet side and begs to be shared with a rich, chocolaty pastry.” Even though the only thing these coffee cups will ever be paired with is an office donut, extra points go to the frustrated copywriter for the effective use of unnecessary creativity.

The Inept Marketing to Women Award and the Capitalizing on a Movie Trend Award BOTH go to…

Verizon, for this ad that looks a little bit like the promos for that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie. I think it’s also supposed to appeal to savvy, tough women customers. ‘Cuz she’s not a blonde! And she’s got her arms crossed!

The award for Best Flyer Made for Toddlers/Stoners goes to…

Friendly’s, of course. This flyer for the $5 menu is something that can only be understood by people who appreciate a good game of peek-a-boo. Each section describes a meal from their $5 menu, then ends with “high-5.” Example: The Turkey Club SuperMelt is “…warm turkey breast with tomato and Thousand Island dressing on a grilled sourdough bread. Served with fries. Enough to make anyone melt. Then High 5.” The Grilled Chicken Wrap is “…wrapped in a warm tomato tortilla and served with fries. Now that’s a wrap. High 5.” Get it? Repetition is FUNNY (you know, for toddlers and stoners).

The Accuracy in Images Award goes to…

Sergeant’s Vetscription for accurately depicting the downsides of pet cohabitation on the box for the “SETTLEdown pheremone collar for cats.” I love my cats and won’t subject them to some bizarro cat hormone collar. But the picture definitely nails the crazy-eye face they make when they’re about to destroy something sentimental or expensive.

And, last but not least, the award for Fear-Oriented Marketing to Yuppie Parents goes to…

Nomad, for believing that changing pads are primarily for “shielding” your newborn babe from the filth of the outside world. Not, you know, to protect the surface from BABY POOP.

That’s a wrap for 2011!

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