Welcome To The Ad Pun Hall Of Fame
Advertising puns are a bad idea. Unless they are perfect.
Do NOT use Puns in your ads. Unless…
007 never had to worry about making babies because he had MI6 to cover his ass (and penis). COPY: “Durex Performa. The climax delay condom”. The ad/billboard was banned by the UK’s ASA as “offensive”. To WHO? Pussy Galore? (link for you youngsters)
From 1969. You don’t like his slacks? You tell him. Second ad from the campaign, same year, below. This pun doesn’t quite work as well.
Air Asia (Australia)
Billboard erected in Brisbane. Phuket is in Thailand. Ad agency: De Pasquale. The double meaning works very nearly perfectly.
Yep. F’ing Vodka. I mean you have to write pun lines off of that name. This is a campaign that could have gone on for Effen ever. Effen means “smooth” in Dutch. These ads would be cancelled hard today. Ad agency: Euro RSCG, Chicago.
(OK, I guess technically not puns, but “punny” wordplays.) Four examples from the great “White-Out-Of-Red” Economist campaign, circa end of last century, ad agency Abbott Mead Vickers. Two simple twists of two-word phrases and you got ad genius.
Left—Reverse the last three words in a cliché? BOOM. Right—Interchange two words in a cliché? BANG. See how “easy” great copywriting is. Have fun trying to duplicate it, social media amateurs.
Tom McElligott is the greatest American copywriter, post-1960s Creative Revolution. He dominated words like nobody since. And did it for every kind of brand. Above—the Episcopal Church. Below—Chicago’s Adler Planetarium. See many, many more of his brilliant ads here, via Dave Dye.
Lastly one ad from a great campaign for Daffy’s discount clothing via NYC ad agency Devito/Verdi. Tell the truth with a startling pun. Compare it to the shit-awful retail advertising of today. See more of the campaign here.
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