Top 7 Weirdest Branding Campaigns Ever

Lindsey Weedston Branding, Public Relations, TV Advertising

Sometimes, in order to get people’s attention, you have to get a little weird. Sometimes, you try to get people’s attention without being weird, but you end up with something really weird. Sometimes what should have been a flop because it turned out super weird ends up being so weird that people think it’s hilarious and it goes viral. That’s the world of branding for you.

Today, we celebrate the weird in branding. Why? Because it’s fun.

#1: A Town Called Half.com


Did you know there’s a town in Oregon called Half.com? It’s called Half.com because Half.com literally convinced a town in Oregon to rename itself after their domain. It’s an obscure little town in Eastern Oregon that until it became Half.com, it was pretty much unknown. We can assume it was chosen because the town’s original name was “Halfway.”

In exchange for becoming the town of Half.com, they got free Internet access for the whole town, plus computers and company stock. The company Half.com got $300 million when it was bought up by eBay after their business skyrocketed from this weird stunt.

Half.com Town Sign


 

#2: Desigual’s Undie Party


This had the potential to be really awkward. Be one of the first 100 people to show up in your underwear at a Desigual shop and get a free outfit. The video makes it seem cool and fun, but it must have been weird walking to the storefront in your underwear. Or walking home if you were number 101. Hopefully it wasn’t too much of a public disturbance.
Desigual Undie Party Ad

#3: The Break Up


Meanwhile, in Australia, the National Australian Bank (NAB) was having a hard time convincing people that they weren’t some heartless corporate giants who only cared about profits – that they were different from other banks and were different from the banking companies that the Australian citizenry had become fed up with.

So they went weird. And big. They launched a huge campaign all about “breaking up” with the other banks, starting with posting dramatic tweets and vaguebooking about how they had to do something hard that was going to upset someone. Then they released print ads containing breakup letters, send cakes to bankers with the words “you’re dumped” written in frosting, and planted a piano player singing breakup songs outside of competing bank buildings.

It was a tremendous success.

NAB Break Up Sign


#4: Is There Such a Thing as Too Honest?


Jeppson's Malort Meme
When people don’t like your product, what do you do? Do you work to improve it? Jeppson’s Marlort thought that would be too normal. Instead they embraced the fact that everyone seemed to think their liquor tasted like liquified garbage by creating ads that put themselves down.

The drink is still in production today, having found a place in certain niches – including comedians who want to torture their audiences and as a “rite of passage” for new 21-year-olds not yet used to the taste of alcohol.


 

#5: FAIL

 

When Snapple wanted to promote their new line of frozen treats, they decided to make the world’s biggest popsicle and display it in New York’s Union Square. It was 25 feet tall, it was!

You know where this is going.

Warmer than expected weather, and RIVERS OF STICKY POPSICLE SLUDGE FLOWING THROUGH THE STREETS OF NEW YORK CITY. Fail. But hilarious enough that they got great publicity from it. Frozen Snapple brand fruit pops are still selling in stores across the US.

Snapple World's Largest Popsicle

 

#6: Burger Smell in a Can

 

Perhaps in an effort to emulate the extremely successful Old Spice campaign, Burger King did this:

FLAME by BK Ad

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

Even weirder – a store in New York actually sold the scent for a while. It was called FLAME by BK. We assume it smells terrible.
 

#7: Spacevertising

 


KFC once nabbed a spot of land in Nevada to create a KFC logo so huge, it could be seen from space. It’s 87,500 square feet and resides in Area 51. Yes, that Area 51.

KFC Giant Logo

Gregg Dedrick, former president of KFC Corp, explains: “If there are extraterrestrials in outer space, KFC wants to become their restaurant of choice.” You’re weird, Gregg Dedrick.