Advertising is pretty much the only creative industry besides possibly making Pokemon games where you know for a fact 99% of your intended audiences is going to complain about whatever it is you make. Every now and again though an ad will be of such legendarily shit quality that it transcends the boundaries of the medium to forever tarnish the brand with which it’s associated. So, also quite like a Pokemon game. For example consider how long it took Ferrero Rocher to escape the reputation a single ad from the 1990’s lumbered it with.
Released in the 1990’s and dubbed simply The Ambassador’s Party, the ad takes place, funnily enough, at a party being thrown by an ambassador. A normally swanky event that features an inexplicable cameo from a pyramid gold foil wrapped rabbit turds.
Now the Brits reading this probably know exactly what those things are but we’re guessing that Americans have no idea why anybody would be tucking into such a majestic pyramid of opulence so the short version is, they’re chocolates. Specifically hazelnut coated chocolate that, if we’re being honest, is quite nice. What Ferrero Rocher certainly isn’t though, is fancy.
This isn’t to say that the company hasn’t tried to convince people that it is, what with its golden packaging and the ostentatious nature of it’s presentation. Something that has seen the snack become seen as a “classy” and popular gift in markets unfamiliar with the fact that it’s just a chocolate covered nut in gold paper.
Something that the aforementioned ad made abundantly clear with it being immediately mocked for trying so hard to appear fancy that it if a person squeezed their dick with the same level of force it’d turn into a hotdog shaped diamond. With people in particular singling out the idea that a swank-ass party would serve chocolate you can buy at a discount store for less then the price of a Big Mac.
Anyway, the ad’s impact on the company’s reputation was instant with Ferrero Rocher becoming a laughing stock overnight and the ad itself being endlessly mocked. Something that was made all the more hilarious when it turned out that it was absolutely, completely 100% serious. Like the company really though showing people in tuxedos shovelling handfuls of their product into their mouths like lukewarm chicken nuggets would convey fanciness.
In fact, the ad was so bad that the company took it off the air due to the intense, relentless ridicule they sustained. With them going as far as to reshoot the entire thing sans the criminally cringe-worthy dialogue everyone was quoting as a fuck you. And let’s be honest, you know it bothered them when they go to the effort of reshooting an entire ad because it was being dunked on from low orbit that hard.