The best (and very worst) of AdFreak, 2008


Grossest Advertiser: Extended Stay Motels.

The motel chain dispensed with decency in a pair of disgusting ads: one in which a woman licks everything in her room to prove its cleanliness; and another in which guests signal their happiness and comfort by flaunting their flatulence. Check in at your own risk.


Oddest Advertising Trend: Crop-circle ads.

Crop-circle

Giant crop circles promoting McDonald’s coffee and Papa John’s pizza appeared in a Nebraska corn field and a Colorado wheat field, respectively, this year. Whether the work of agencies or aliens, it was a major step forward for vegetation-based marketing.


Weirdest Creature in a Commercial: The Old Spice centaur.

“I’m two things in one: I’m a man … and a pretty smart shopper,” the centaur said while selling Old Spice Double Impact (which is also two things: a moisturizer and body wash). He narrowly beat out the runner-up: Donate Life California’s singing maggots.


Next page: The best comeback, the best celebrity endorsement, the worst celebrity endorsement.