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Absurdist Advertising

Recently advertising is taking a turn towards the absurd… well I shouldn’t say recently, advertisers have always pushed the envelope as far as unconventional humor goes, but you typically only saw this approach with smaller brands that were more flexible and willing to take risks.

I’ve posted one print campaign and three separate tv commercials from major brands to exemplify my point.

Orbit Gum:

Beautiful Teeth
Emerald Nuts:

Old Spice:

Hot Pockets:

There are two benefits immediately apparent in this style of marketing:

  1. It is, or can be, dirt cheap.
  2. It is very effective with mellinials (god how I loath that word, but it’s very apropos in this instance)

One warning though, it is much easier to execute this style in video rather than in print.

I would be curious to know what all of you think of this?


  1. Mary Evangeliste said on May 25, 2007:

    I have to say that I love the absurd, the ironic and the ridiculous. These kinds of ads really appeal to my sense of silliness.

    I think you are right Jonathan it is easier to do this in video than in print but it can be done.
    I really love those ads a few years ago where the Burger King was in bed with that guy called Wake up with the King:

    BUT I want to caution there is a difference between absurd and just plain scary and I think these new Jack in the Box are just yucky:
    Strangly enough Adweek just named it the best spot of the month of April 2007-Say what ?

    Please note: I am a lover of breakfast sandwichs and have not been able to eat one since this ad came out, so what does that say…I think breakfast sandwiches kept me alive during most of my twenties hehehhehehehe

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