Thinking Outside the Box: 40 Quirky and Intriguing Marketing Campaigns – Part 2


26Quaker Oats Plot Promotion

Quaker Oats Plot Promotion

In 1955, Quaker Oats gave away free land deeds as part of a cereal promotion. Participants could mail in their cereal box to redeem a plot of land sized 1 inch x 1 inch in a gold-rush region of Canada.

27. The promotion for Mission Impossible 3 had the theme playing from selected newspaper dispensers on the streets in Los Angeles. However, some of the music-playing devices fell out leading the public to think they were bombs. The bomb squad detonated a news dispenser before learning of the promotion.

28. In 2018, the town of Mayo, Florida temporarily changed its name to “Miracle Whip” as an advertising promotion with Kraft.

29. Windows 7 Whopper was sold at Burger King in Japan for the promotion of Microsoft's Windows 7. The hamburger contained 7 stacked beef patties, weighed almost 1 kg, and had more than 1,000 cal. The promotion period was extended from 7 days to 16 days due to unexpected popularity.

30. In 1984, Burger King ran an ad campaign with a character called “Mister Rodney” touting its superior cooking over McDonald’s. The campaign was stopped after Mister Rogers himself called Burger King’s vice president, who had the commercial taken off the air.

31Toilet Duck Ad

Toilet Duck Ad

A toilet cleaner in the Netherlands advertised itself using the slogan “We, the people at Toilet Duck, recommend Toilet Duck.” The slogan is still being used today as a general saying to dispute the independence of an expert when his statements align with his self-interest.

32. It wasn’t until the 1930s that production techniques improved to the point where toilet paper could be advertised as “splinter-free.”

33. Vin Mariani was a mixture of wine and cocaine that was popular in Europe during the late 1800s. Two popes were known to drink it and it was so much enjoyed by Pope Leo XIII that he was used on posters promoting the product. The creator won a Vatican gold medal for creating it.

34. During the 1970s, adverts for Cadbury’s chocolate flake bar were deemed too sexy for television.

35. Coca-Cola once held a promotion in Canada. They randomly printed an English word and a French Word inside bottle caps for one of their products. They wound up apologizing to a family because their bottle cap said, “YOU RETARD” on it. In French, the word ‘retard’ means ‘late.’

36Ryanair Advertisement

Ryanair Advertisement

In April 2011, Irish airline Ryanair advertised ‘a place in the sun destinations’ but the advert was banned when it was found that some of the destinations had sunshine for as little as three hours per day and temperatures between 0 and 14 °C.

37. In the 1800s, Lysol promoted itself as a douching agent. By 1911, there were five reported deaths and 193 poisonings.

38. In 1991, 60 Minutes suggested red wine was the answer to the “French Paradox” (France enjoys a low incidence of heart disease despite a diet high in saturated fats). Within a year, American consumption of wine increased 40% and some wine sellers began promoting their products as “health food.”

39. In China, TV adverts can only be shown at the end of a 45-minute program instead of during.

40. To promote the video game Splinter Cell: Conviction in New Zealand, a “prank” was created that involved an actor pointing a black imitation gun at random people on the street. Armed police were soon called.