Image source – Flickr

‘Out of Sight is Out Of Mind’ – this adage holds true especially in marketing and advertising. The market is heavily cluttered with similar products in every category. Just advertising is not enough. You need to have differentiated advertising for your product to be remembered by the customers.

Brand marketers try their best to come up with unique advertising campaigns that can make a lasting impact on the customer’s minds. Some succeed while some just get lost in the crowd.

Some use humour, some use satire and others try sleek, good design. Then there are some marketers who want to be so different that their campaigns turn out really weird. Consumers may not even get the message at the first go. But sometimes these do work brilliantly.

Let us look at some of the weirdest marketing and advertising campaigns that were run by brands.

1) Whopper Sacrifice by Burger King

Silhouette of a cheese burger loaded with summer garden vegetables isolated on fire, macro

Image source – Freeimages

This campaign created a lot of buzz when it was launched in 2009.

The Whopper was one of the most popular burgers of Burger King. Though the campaign was called Whopper Sacrifice, no one was sacrificing any Whoppers. The idea was to sacrifice to get a Whopper. To participate in the campaign, users had to download an app. They had to also be on Facebook as a user. They then had to delete 10 of their friends to get a chance to win a coupon for a free Whopper.

Those friends who were deleted were sent a notification that they had been sacrificed by their friend for a Whopper. The app also sent a notification to the main guy informing him that his ‘sacrificed’ friends know he has deleted them.

Suffice to say the campaign was a huge hit. More than 200,000 people participated and ‘sacrificed’ their friends for getting a Whopper. However soon the app came under Facebook’s radar. Facebook stated that the app was violating it’s privacy clauses. Ordinarily if a user removed a friend, that friend would not know as per Facebook mechanism. The app was over riding that mechanism by informing the friend of his/her removal. Soon the app had to be removed. It also got a lot of negative publicity on the lines of meat being more important than friends.

Though the app had to be removed, it did it’s job and the campaign was widely spoken about.

2) Poo Pourri

Image source – Pexels

Poo Pourri is a product that is designed to make your bathroom smell good. The product was decently known in the market. The brand then decided that they had to reach new markets and new audiences. They started a digital campaign. They uploaded a 2 minute commercial on the popular site YouTube. The commercial featured a very pretty actress sporting a perfect Queen’s accent and telling poop jokes.

While it may not seen anything great, the campaign went hugely viral. The commercial got more than 32 million views on YouTube. The brand also reported a huge increase in sales. The product also found new retailers like Walmart and Amazon. The product also apparently really works if we go according to the scores of positive reviews that it has got. A bizarre campaign that became a super hit.

3) Eau De Pizza Hut

Image source – Pexels

This campaign was made to resonate with the thought that most of us love the fresh smell that we get on opening a pizza box. With this insight in mind, the Canada wing of Pizza Hut decided to have a fun digital campaign.

It started with a simple post on Facebook asking their page fans a question. The brand asked them to suggest a name for a perfume which smelt like a Pizza Hut Pizza box being opened.

They never expected the response. The post got bombarded with millions of responses and people even asked for samples of the perfume. Less than two months later, the brand’s Facebook page touched the 100,000 fans mark. To commemorate this occasion, the brand actually launched this perfume and named it Eau de Pizza Hut. They launched it on their Facebook page and gave free samples to the first 100 people who messaged them on Facebook.

That post was also a huge hit and raked in lots of comments and shares for the brand. People apparently loved the perfume as well.

Perfume smelling like fresh pizza! Sounds weird but people seemingly loved it. It earned a lot of positive publicity for Pizza Hut and the campaign popularity was largely organically achieved.

4)“Cheat On Your Girlfriend” Campaign by Reebok

Image source – Pixabay

A poster stating – ‘Cheat on your girlfriend but not on your workout’ along with the Reebok logo suddenly made news on the internet. ‘Cheater Ville’ – a website primarily posting content against infidelity raised a big hue and cry about this poster. They started urging people to boycott the shoe brand. They also demanded that the brand pull down the campaign and issue a public apology.

Reebok became the subject of public outrage. The brand had to pull the ad down. Ironically the ad was only a poster campaign for gyms in Germany. It was not a part of the brand’s global campaigns. The brand spokesperson also publicly apologised stating that the brand does not support cheating in any way.

5) Pregnancy Test Ad by IKEA

Image source – Pixabay

IKEA advertised a discount on it’s baby crib in a Swedish magazine. To qualify for the discount, you had to be pregnant.

To prove that you are pregnant, you had to urinate on the ad. If you are pregnant, your urine will be able to dissolve the ink on the ad revealing the discount coupon.

This ad received mixed reviews. Some praised the uniqueness and ingenuity of the ad. Some found it gross and unhygienic. Some questioned the magazine for allowing urine on it. Others wondered on how to take a urine soaked coupon to the store.

This ad went viral and got lot of publicity purely on the shock value it generated. There was lot of talk on it throughout the various media channels. It was bizarre and provocative and it definitely caught eyeballs. As long as advertising companies continue to create such fascinating campaigns and brands agree to experiment, we will keep seeing such bizarre stuff on and off.