This Portland Ad Sucks

FullSizeRenderThis Portland Ad Sucks (Or, Um, Screws Up)

I don’t usually write about poor advertising. There is simply too much of it. However, this ad for Hawthorne Cutlery, a Portland knife shop, caught my attention. In fact, I assume that catching my attention was what the shop intended.

However, boy did they fuck up. Pulling me in with a cunniligous oriented headline (not sure I’ve ever used this ‘C’ word in my blog) does in fact pull me in. But, not the way the advertiser wanted. The headline and WTF photograph pulls me into thinking that these guys are very lame.

Last point, I feel sorry for the adjacent ad. Not sure that a whole lot of brunchers want to be associated with munchers. SORRY!!!! I couldn’t control myself.


  1. When I see really bad advertising, which I think the knife ad is a prime example of I struggle to understand what the advertising agency’s concept was; how the visual or copy relate to the product and how on earth they got their client to approve it. Does it mean if you cook with better tools you will score with the ladies, are they selling bad kitchen utensils therefore you have to take your date out for dinner?

    Perhaps my inability to make sense of any of it is simply indicative of the fact it is bad advertising and I should not waste another second trying to figure out where the agency was coming from with this ‘creative’ and move on to the good stuff.

  2. Damn! I remember first foray into the world of marketing and advertising. I started a marketing agency called Metropolitan. My primary job was a combination of art director and chief creative. I think there were about seven of us. We had a guy that was a cross between Pete Campbell and Mike Tyson doing accounts. Call him a deadly weasel. Anyway, he thought they could write taglines and advertising plans/campaigns. He landed a major client that had one of the largest butcher shops in the San Fernando Valley, in addition to two small soul food restaurants. Overall, it was a good account.

    “Pete Tyson” decided he would do the client’s first ad. He came up with a picture of the huge chicken drumstick sitting against a woman’s ample behind. This was the top of the ad. At the bottom of it, positioned as if he was looking up, was a head-shot of a guy that looked like Wally Cleaver with a unibrow. He was looking at the woman’s butt, licking his lips and appeared to be perspiring. The tagline was “Acme’s choice. NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY, YOU CAN’T BEAT OUR MEAT.”

    I was at a business meeting when this was slipped to the client. He didn’t pay attention, and signed off on it. This was a full-page black-and-white newspaper ad, but the tagline, Wally, the booty and the drumstick were emblazoned on the client’s fleet of trucks. I was embarrassed every time a saw one of them. Pete Tyson was fired, not before he punched a hole into the wall.

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