How Not To Advertise: The First Offender

Have you ever been somewhere and seen a billboard, commercial, or print ad and thought – wow, that’s really bad.

Today, we start our new series, “How Not To Advertise” – a collection of blogs where we show you some of the most embarrassing mix-ups, flubs and just plain offensive advertisements we’ve found.

We’ll start today with our very own Fresno Yosemite Airport, a favorite that we’ve kept around the office for a few years. This little card came the mail detailing all of the places you can visit from FAT, along with a calendar and some pop-out imagery.

But the problem begins here.

When you open the card, you are greeted with an airplane, which “flies” out from behind Yosemite’s Half Dome.

(Apologies to the makers of the card.) We love the pop-up concept, but somewhere along the line someone needed to have an honest conversation and say, “This just isn’t working out.”

One of our designers came up with a solution: Make the airplane backdrop of the card. Cover this with a moveable Half Dome covered with clouds and change the pop-up element to a pull-down tab. The mechanism draws the clouds downward and reveals the plane from underneath to give the illusion of the plane rising above the clouds.

Chances are, it might not still look quite right. If the engineering is still a little wonky – scrap the idea all together.

It’s always better to have a simpler idea with perfect execution, than an out-of-the-box idea that falls flat (pun intended).