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9 Adverts That Have Nothing To Do With The Product They’re Trying To Promote

Adverts – we see them every day and we can’t avoid them no matter how hard we try. Yet, the funny thing about them is that some of them aren’t quite what they appear. For every advert that features whatever is meant to be promoted, there are plenty of adverts that seem to have nothing to do with whatever it is they’re trying to promote, just like these…

  1. McDonald’s’ Dead Dad Advert

This recently pulled advert caused controversy for being ‘exploiting childhood bereavement’. It shows a young boy talking to his mother about his dead dad – exactly the type of advert you need if you’re promoting a fast food restaurant.

2. Victoria’s Secret’s Superbowl 2017 Advert

Instead of showcasing lingerie, this advert for Victoria’s Secret simply shows a bunch of Victoria’s Secret models playing American football in jerseys. Sure, it ties in with the Superbowl theme, but you don’t see any piece of Victoria’s Secret clothing anywhere!

3. Levi’s Hamster Advert

This very random advert for Levi’s shows a hamster running around a wheel furiously until it breaks. He then ends up dying of boredom now that he hasn’t got his wheel to run around. And this is meant to promote a clothing company?

4. Levi’s Sea of Blue Advert


This advert sees two young people approach each other at a party before jumping into a pool together. Sure, they’re wearing clothes by Levi, but the ad itself doesn’t really have much to do with anything at all.

5. E-Trade’s Superbowl 2014 Advert

E-Trade parodied the many other companies whose Superbowl ads had little to do with the product by creating a 30-second ad featuring two guys clapping and a monkey on a bucket. The ad ended with the line ‘Well, we just wasted two million bucks. What are you doing with your money?’

6. John Lewis’ Christmas Advert 2013

The song featured in this advert, a cover of Keane’s ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ by Lily Allen, topped the charts. Even though the advert attracted a lot of attention, those who don’t know what it’s actually advertising can be forgiven, as there’s nothing to suggest it’s promoting a department store.

7. John Lewis’ Christmas Advert 2014

This somewhat heartwarming advert about a boy and a penguin is nice enough, but like the John Lewis Christmas advert filmed the previous year, it doesn’t really tell you anything about John Lewis at all. The department store company have released Christmas-themed adverts every year since 2007, many of which, like this one, don’t really let you know they’re advertising a department store.

8. United Colors of Benetton’s Death Row Ads

via Pinterest.com
via Pinterest.com

The fashion chain thought it would be a good idea to release ads featuring real-life US death row inmates, even though being sentenced to death has nothing to do with clothes or shoes or anything United Colors of Benetton sells.

9. Cadbury’s Gorilla Advert

A classic advert, the Cadbury’s gorilla advert shows a gorilla come to life when he drums along to Phil Collins’ ‘In the Air Tonight’. What this has to do with chocolate is anyone’s guess.

James Gibson
James Gibson
I'm a Classics graduate and have been writing for over three years. Hopefully going to go into novel writing some day. I'm mostly interested in theme parks and roller coasters - I've been on 300 coasters and plan on going on lots more!


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