Thursday, February 24, 2011

An Advertising Faux Pas

I admit that I sometimes have a quirky sense of humor.  Some might say I have a warped or sick sense of humor.  And maybe I might have occasionally offended someone; I hope not, but I recognize that it could happen.  We don't all laugh at the same things. 

However, there are some things I don't think anyone will laugh at.  (Well, some might chuckle behind closed doors, but would never publicize those questionable tidbits for all to witness!)

Except that someone did.    The following billboard appeared briefly in South Bend, Indiana.

If there are any among you who are too young to remember, in  November of 1978 members of Jim Jones' Peoples Temple drank grape punch laced with cyanide in a mass murder/suicide pact in their compound in Guyana.  Nine hundred people ended up dead.

Apparently, someone in the Hacienda's marketing department did some brain(and I use the term loosely)storming about people who belong to clubs, teams, and cults.  This ad was the result.  When a South Bend resident emailed the company and told them she found the billboard in poor taste and offensive, sanity prevailed.  The company apologized for the insensitivity and immediately removed the billboard.

WTF were they thinking when they came up with this sales promotion???



Janiece said...


Retiredandcrazy said...

Brainless b......ds

Reeni said...

That's a sick sense of humor!!

Brian Miller said...

wouldnt you love to be a fly on the wall when they me with the guy that came up with that ad....whew

Sandy said...

I would imagine someone lost their job over that!

Dafeenah said...

However knowing how twisted things are these days, he probably got a promotion. It seems there is no such thing as "bad press" these days.

Nicki said...

So, how bad is it that I am very familiar with the Jim Jones' Peoples
Temple yet I DID LAUGH AT THIS BILLBOARD! Guess my sense of humor is grossly sick but I am okay with that because I am lovable, I am capable and doggonnit, people like me! =)

tsonodablog said...

It was weird, because when I first looked at your blog, the sign was the first thing I read....and I laughed (because I'm used to laughing when I'm here). But then in a split second, I thought....wait, that's not really funny. What's she trying to say here? Then I read your blog.

Disgusting sign. Glad it's been taken down.


Kristina P. said...

Wow. I have a great sense of humor, but yeah. I do think that is not the best ad.

ethelmaepotter! said...

Bad taste is one thing, but this is just totally disrespectful and unacceptable. I feel the same way about the inflatable Titanic ride at county fairs - don't know if you've seen it, but it's basically a huge inflatable slide, shaped like the Titanic going down. I see people sliding and laughing their way down that thing, mimicking the poor souls who slid down the REAL thing to their deaths in the icy water.

Wonder how survivors and their families of both these tragedies would feel about their loved ones being publicly humiliated?

Thank goodness we still have people you like you, Eva, whose sense of humor is respectful and right on target!

I'm Jane said...

I saw that on the news yesterday. Definitely tasteless. And definitely made me want a margarita.

Jen said...

Have you heard the song-"It's a Weird World" ? This sure proves it!!

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

I guess it's a good thing I don't work in advertising because I think that billboard is friggin' hilarious.

What I find more offensive is that one stick-in-the-mud can make a phone call and the company backs down.

People use the phrase "drink the Kool-Aid" all the time, when trying to persuade a group to go along with an idea. No one gets in a snit about it in that context.

And honestly, I'm sure the Hacienda's "Kool-Aid" IS, in fact, better than Jones's. At least I'd hope so.

It was a joke. Why over-react?

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

Okay, I went back and looked at the billboard again. Didn't notice the "To Die For" part the first time around. That part crossed the line.

Otherwise, I stand behind my original comment.

George said...

This restaurant is known for pushing it on their advertisements. It's not the first one that they have taken down.

injaynesworld said...

It would be one thing if it was even funny, but it's so lame. The guy must have had too many of their own Margaritas when he came up with that one. It was probably the boss's son.

The Retired One said...

OUCH!! I bet whoever came up with that one is in the unemployment lines...

Al Penwasser said...

Oh, are we birds of a feather! I do the exact same thing. In fact, you can go through my blog and see some of the pictures I've posted. And I'm sure I'll post some more. In fact, today I saw something where I worked that tickled me. When I clocked out, I walked through the kitchen and noticed the following sign: "Watch oven." So, I stopped and stared at it. When the lady in charge of the kitchen came by, she asked what I was doing. I told her I was watching the oven and asked, "What will it do?"
I think we have the same funny bone.

Eva Gallant said...

RetiredandCrazy: I agree.

Dafeenah: You could be right!

Nikki: Nikki, Nikki, Nikki! LOL

Terri: Me, too.

Jane: Get one for me, too!

Jen: I agree, Sis

Jayne: Undoubtedly!

RetiredOne: That's a definite possiblilty!

Canadian Blend said...

Was that back in 1978? I can't believe it was that long ago.

I think it was Groupon that just pulled some TV ads for their insensitivity.

I'm not sure it's ever wise to try to spin anything related to tragedies into something funny.

Madison said...

The person who came up with that probably wasn't alive when Jonestown happened.

It is very common to hear "You drank the Kool Aid" these days. It's also common to hear "To die for."

Most young people won't see anything wrong with putting the two together. The people who complain about the ad probably aren't in the company's target demographic.