Famous Ad Bloopers

Photoshop is the magic wand of graphic design – when you learn to harness the true power of this indispensable tool, you can craft anything and create breathtaking, memorable advertisements. Sometimes, however, designers are rushed for time or a project is taken on by amateurs (think: lowest bidders) – and the end result isn’t always what the buyers had in mind. The following are a few of my favorite famous (and some not so famous) ad bloopers. I think each proves, in its own way, that the devil’s in the details.

I’m guessing that iStockPhoto doesn’t mind the free advertisement pushed by this Nintendo DS game. Heck, they probably would have given the designer the stock art if they had known it would be thus distributed.

If this clothing catalog model isn’t the sole survivor after a pack of sharks attacked her banana boat, someone is missing from this photo. “Excuse me, ma’am, but you have a dismembered hand stuck to your shoulder.”

“My forearms have the gripping power of 10 men. Now, if I only knew what these funny little appendages at the end were for…”

“Mirror, mirror on my lap … do I really look like that?”

Who needs bellybuttons when you’re a Playboy bunny?

Sports Illustrated meets Children of the Corn.

All images from compilations on The Daily Tribute, Tutorial Freakz, and All Graphic Design.

  • http://www.wadedigitaldesign.com Scott Wade

    Great post! Surprised to see the watermark made it past the team at Nintendo :) The missing fingers and unnatural hand positioning make the Formoza the worst of the list I think.

  • Tyler

    lol, this is great. It makes me feel better knowing i’m not the only one making mistakes.

    I’m still fairly new to graphic design and was rushed to design and print a brochure for my employer. We printed 1000 brochures for a tradeshow and I had a major typo on the very first line. :(

    Oh well, you learn from you mistakes. Its not as bad as the Istockphoto, or the catalog model blooper. lol

  • Denise

    Thanks for the laughs.

  • Ola

    Tyler, it doesn’t seem like you learned a whole lot from your mistake! “Oh well, you learn from you mistakes”
    Is it me? or is the “r” missing from “you mistakes”?
    LESSON OF THE DAY: Always proof-read before you publish!

  • Brian

    Absolutely right Ola! Proofreading is essential, though it can be difficult to do when you’re pressed for time. I used to work for a small press newspaper that had no formal copy editors – the staff writers doubled as the design team, layout team, proof team, etc. I can’t even begin to tell you how many mistakes were made when everyone was so busy!

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