Mobile phone advertisers have to work hard to keep audiences entertained with commercials; because the market is so saturated with very similar-seeming products, standing apart in advertisements is even more important than ever. This is why too often marketers go over-the-top with ads, creating commercials that are downright bizarre or offensive.
Here are the weirdest cellular phone commercials ever to be filmed. Keep in mind that some of these ads were so bad that you probably didn’t even see them before they were cut from the air.
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This cute Dutch advertisement definitely had young males in mind when it was filmed. A hungover young man wakes up and decides to take a quick swim, leaving his phone by the pool side. After he’s gargled a little water and opened his eyes in the water, his friends text him a picture of them peeing into the pool the night before.
This ad might have done well in its nation, but in the United States, it would have flopped because of the niche marketing effort. Most audiences would have felt alienated by this weird mobile advertisement.
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COMPANY: Microsoft Kin
While everyone loves the song “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, no one liked this commercial. It depicted an average looking guy at a party sending a photo of his hairy man-chest to a girl at the same party. Other than this ten second depiction, the ad just bounces around the gathering of friends that is clearly staged, showing people who are trying to have fun.
This advertisement didn’t do well with its test market and was quickly shut down because Microsoft discontinued their $500 million Kin line shortly after the commercial aired. It would be unfair to blame Kin’s failure on just this commercial, but let’s do it anyway.
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This advertisement was made on a shoe-string budget to promote turning off your cellular device in theaters. It portrayed two men in bathroom stalls, one talking on the phone and the other answering unwittingly. While this commercial did get some play in movie theaters, it didn’t get all of the attention it deserved as a funny (but uncomfortable to watch) ad.
Many commercials have been made for theaters to politely ask viewers to turn off their phones, but few so far have been memorable. This ad did a good job of getting attention and inspiring people to turn off their cells.
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COMPANY: Vodafone (French)
This advertisement struck fear into the hearts of attractive women everywhere, because yes, some men are this creepy. Leave it to French marketers to film a commercial so realistically perverted that it made viewers uncomfortable.
SFR Vodafone in France has made other bizarre commercials in the past, but this one is particularly strange. Vodafone is popular all over Europe because of its quirky ads and prepaid cellular plans. However if they were based in the United States, these sorts of ads would most likely be toned down a notch.
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This adorable advertisement by T-Mobile depicts the royal wedding as a flash mob and simply states that “Life is for sharing.” Subtle and charming, this ad did well with viewers in the UK. So, why was it weird? Viewers thought that it was strange that the royal family would spoof their own family event. When people realized that they had been fooled by good look-a-likes, they were relieved and amused.
People in the UK as well as the United States choose T-Mobile when they shop for all the latest cell phones and more, because they are reliable and understated, just like this ad.
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COMPANY: Radio Shack
Unintentionally funny because of its age, this commercial deserves mention because of its impracticality. Not only did the brief case phone weigh up to 38 pounds, but it also needed to be recharged frequently, stay out of heat, and could only be called from pre-input numbers.
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COMPANY: SoftBank (Japanese)
With elements akin to Moonrise Kingdom and a style reminiscent of the French film Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot, this Japanese cellular commercial manages to be more cinematic than sales-y. Viewers were in for a treat when Wes Anderson signed on to coach Brad Pitt through the jungle that was this fast-paced ad.
Whereas most Japanese ads are ineffable and incredibly hard to follow, this one managed to be chic and clear. SoftBank is popular for its memorable advertisements around the world, even though their business is not as international as their marketing.
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Another commercial depicting calling karma, or that users should refrain from making calls during movies, this ad was popular with viewers. However, the morbid depiction of a man being crushed in a tomb by an upturned coffin was disturbing for some Kyocera fans, which lead the company to remove this commercial from the air.
Advertisements from around the world range from quirky to downright odd, but rarely dare to be boring. In order to gain consumer attention marketers have to become more industrious and creative every year: which is why they sometimes miss the mark, making horrible, bizarre ads like these.
About the Author: This article is written by Emily Green