Worst Tech Ads: Biggest marketing mishaps
6. Microsoft Windows Vista, 2008
It’s 2008 and Vista is your most hated product since Windows Me. Who you gonna call? Er… Jerry Seinfeld. The big M ran two ads, somehow costing in excess of $300 million, in which Bill Gates and Seinfeld discuss shoes for three minutes that felt like three hours. They’re still counted among the worst ads of all time.
7. Microsoft Windows 7, 2009
Chastened by the above, the campaign for Windows 7 suggested you should throw a launch party for the OS’s arrival in your home. Due to Microsoft’s poor track record with comedy, it’s hard to tell if this was playful or brazenly hopeful. After all, even the lobotomised, party hat-wearing planks in the video can’t really be that excited about the prospect of an hour-long system reboot?
8. Palm Pre, 2009
We’re convinced the Pre would have sold more were it not for its hideously illconceived “artful” marketing. While the footage of an elfin woman in a field with hundreds of martial artists certainly intrigued, it did nothing to show what the phone and its new OS were capable of. In a world where the common response to any new smartphone is, “Oh, so it’s like an iPhone?”, rule one of mobile advertising should be to show how like-the-iPhoneonly-better-no-really the product is. Showing the product might possibly help in this respect. Palm declined on all fronts.
9. Asus Eee Pad Transformer, 2011
The clever tab-laptop hybrid’s online ad is a bizarre parody of American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Or is it? The mahogany acting, stilted dialogue and flat production could be a clever take on how bad its TV source is. Or might it simply be ill-judged humour that just happens to resemble The Big Bang Theory? Perhaps, like the versatile Transformer itself, it is able to convert between two states: unfunny satire and just your basic unfunny.
10. Nintendo 3DS, 2011
The blame for the 3DS’s poor sales can be laid at the door of its launch campaign, which not only failed to make clear it was a new console but also focused on trying to show off 3D on a 2D medium. Unable to use footage, it was reduced to filming a stream of 3DS-holding nitwits pulling the least convincing “wow, amazing!” faces this side of Ann Widdecombe faking an orgasm.
Dead-eyed, singing non-sensations The Saturdays were also involved. Addressing these issues one by one has since seen the console turn a corner. Who knew, eh?
Have we missed your favourite worst advert? Let us know in the comments section below.