Bad Clipper Magazine Ads

Clipper Magazine is a local print that solely features advertising for area stores and businesses. Sometimes these ads are particularly bad. Here are some of them.

1. LOLCATS

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Advertising: books and back to school sales

Problem: As a rule of thumb, you should only feature cats in advertising if you are trying to sell cats, cat food, or cat accessories. Obviously, cats don’t read and unless you are my grandmother this kind of ad CANNOT be effective.

2. EXPLODING WITH SAVINGS!
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Advertising: plastic surgery

The Problem: I honestly can’t look at this page for more than 5 seconds without turning my eyes away from all the confusion. Why did they choose to design this piece with so many of those sunbursts? What exactly are they trying to highlight? My eyes skip around from sunburst to sunburst until I just can’t take it anymore.

3. PROBABLY RACIST
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Advertising: Window well covers.

The Problem: Why not show the strength of their covers in the context of something with a common perceived weight? I have not idea what two Latino children on a pony weigh or even if that is heavy. Am I to be impressed? Also, are they saying Latino children are always horsing around? Again, there’s absolutely no context for the image composition and since it is neither humorous nor ironic one must assume that nobody over at Well Covered knows what they are doing with advertising.

4. BEFORE AND AFTER. NO?
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Advertising: Weight loss via medical consult

The Problem: Maybe the most effective tool of any weight loss ad is the before and after photos (more on that later). So when you want to sell weight loss and feature a side by side photo people are going to assume the photo is a before and after. The above ad messes it all up. They show the doctors rather than what kind of results you could get BUT they make sure to use two photos that make the doctors look like the same exact person. Aside from their hair lines, these guys could be twins. You have to figure in a magazine that has a hundred ads I’m going to give two or three seconds of glance at each ad. Make sure I don’t focus on the wrong thing.

5. UNNECESSARY BABY HAZARD
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Advertising: Overhead storage

The Problem: What the heck is that baby doing there? What if during the photo shoot that woman had fallen or the storage racks had collapsed. Seems like a bad idea to have the baby in this situation when it doesn’t have anything to do with garage storage. Also, would they perform this stunt if those bins and containers were full of the kinds of things people actually put in garages? You know, heavy stuff? Probably not. So the point of the storage being so rugged it can handle storage plus idiots hanging from it is made moot since the storage bins are probably empty.

6. BEFORE AND “AHHH DON’T LOOK DIRECTLY AT IT’S EYES!”
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Advertising: Chiropractic and body sculpting (how many procedures can these people invent?)

The Problem: The first picture is clearly a middle aged woman under lighting conditions that show the natural contrast of her facial features. The second picture is so washed out by the lighting that she actually looks worse. She kind of reminds me of Ursala from the Little Mermaid. You know, the squid lady. So either these pictures were taken one after the other with the second utilizing a bad flash OR the results of facial sculpting are less than stellar.

7. THE CAMERA SLIPPED
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Advertising: windows

The Problem: What exactly am I supposed to be seeing here? The van? The guys carry the window? The house? The sky? Nothing in this picture is framed correctly and unfortunately your eyes are likely directed first to the yellow van which has the name of the company cut off, or the blank expanse of sky. This photo was the centerpiece of a 3 page spread. Lesson learned: just because someone’s brother has a nice camera it doesn’t mean he should be the one for the photo shoot.

8. INSULTING YOUR INTELLIGENCE
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Advertising: weight loss

The Problem: There are 3 main issues. First of all, in the before picture you can’t tell if she looks any different than her enlarged professional shot. I’m not looking at this attractive woman in black and thinking wow what a fat cow she needs to lose weight. Second, the bikini photo has some had some serious (and bad) Photoshop work done on it. It’s a pretty controversial issue and for weight loss advertising it seems unfair that they aren’t being truthful. Third, what’s with the pictures of food? You don’t fill your diet with pasta, ice cream, pizza, and muffins and expect to lose weight. In fact its those exact foods that likely got you to feeling like you could shed a few pounds anyway.

9. SEX SELLS…CABINETS
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Advertising: Cabinets

The problem: There’s no real problem here except this makes me laugh. Since it’s not trying to be funny, I suppose that doesn’t make it very effective. But picture that couple featured in an ad for Viagra or something. Then it totally fits, right? But as it stands it’s like they are saying if you get new cabinets then your wife will probably have sex with you…on the cabinets.

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3 thoughts on “Bad Clipper Magazine Ads

  1. OMG — you are CRACKING me UP! Seriously — this is FUNNY stuff!

    I must admit the ad about the window well covers…..(I do have a college degree — if you can imagine that after you read my story). I was out trimming bushes in our back yard, behind our house. There is a lovely lilac bush that resides just next to a widow well. We bought this house 3 years ago and haven’t touched the window well covers, so I didn’t really think much about them. While I was trimming the bush, I needed to step behind the bush to reach an area and there was the window well. I remember seeing that ad all the time with the horse on the well cover, so I thought — “if it can hold a horse it can surely hold me”. Well, no, OUR window well covers are made of plastic –NOT the kind that were advertised there in the Clipper. So, yes, I fell through the window well and got pretty scraped up. I WAS smart enough to let go of the electric bush trimmers as I was falling…..When Aaron asked me why I would stand on the window well cover, I told him, “you know those ads where the horse and kids stand on the well cover? Yes, that’s why I decided to stand on the window well cover”.

  2. I so totally agree with you on the add on exploding savings. Ads definitely need a focal point. If ads or other material have so much to look at that I don’t know where to look first, I generally just put it down and forget it. It just drives me crazy. Most ads are not worth the time to dissect to see what they are trying to tell me.

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