Some Notable Naughty Ad Campaigns

1

Jell-O: “#FML”

Launch date May 17

It’s sweeter than you think. In the dessert brand’s world, “F” is for fun. The effort, in conjunction with Crispin Porter + Bogusky, to brighten the hashtag’s meaning is netting Jell-O 500 to 900 Twitter exchanges a day, said Kraft senior brand manager Todd Hjermstad. “Even historic brands have to communicate in a way that’s up to date and consistent with the marketplace today,” he said.

2

Del Taco: “UnFreshing Believable”


Launch date April 24 

The fast-food chain’s new tagline— from agency Camp + King—is part of a bigger overhaul that extends to its menu. It’s drawn only 2,300 YouTube views and didn’t feel so fresh to some. “To really break through, one has to go beyond what’s considered outrageous according to contemporary standards,” said Robert Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture.

3

Kmart “Ship My Pants”

Creative Agency: Draftfcb
Media: iProspect
Upload date: 4/10/2013
Views: 16,171,634

—View counts as of May 2. To be eligible, videos must be marked as ads on YouTube (i.e., they get some paid views) but must also earn significant organic views.

4

Booking.com: “You Booking Did It”


Launch date Jan. 22

Out of Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam, the online travel site’s anthem ad alone now has 179,000 YouTube views. According to Cliff Medney, chief creative strategist at digital agency Flightpath, the implied expletive just spices up an already powerful story about getting the right hotel room. Added Passikoff, though: “A wish fulfillment kind of thing [is] OK. Now tell me why I shouldn’t go to Orbitz.”