Most Controversial TV Ads of All Time
Sex sells. Men are very visual animals who are stimulated by the sight of scantily dressed women or women doing suggestive things. Women, on the other hand, are stimulated by the thought of romance with a tall, muscular man with a dark head of hair and nice teeth. Combine sex with a playful – or not-so-playful – sense of humor, and advertisers may think they have a winning formula to boost sales of their product. Ads aired during that most excellent program known as the Super Bowl are eagerly anticipated year after year; the ads have been celebrated for their creativity and their humor. They also have become known for their controversy. Television censors may have a completely different idea as to what’s funny, especially as it pertains to the Super Bowl ads which have pushed the envelope. This has resulted in would-be winning ads being pulled before they even had a chance to be broadcast.
Here, then, are some of the top-rated banned Super Bowl ads:
1. Virtually any ad by GoDaddy: GoDaddy has become almost synonymous with ads that become banned for being too sexy. Whether it’s an ad featuring racer Danica Patrick, explicit language and a bevy of beavers – banned for the meaning behind the language and the implications – or any ad playing off the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction of a few years ago, many of the ads from GoDaddy have been deemed far too scandalous for television broadcast.
2. www.ashleymadison.com: As can be expected, Ashley Madison’s SuperBowl spot was rejected. With its tagline of “Life is short. Have an affair”, and its mission to allow married men to have affairs, the censors nearly had a fit. From the ad’s justification of cheating to implications of bestiality, hints of nudity and general sex, the ad fell into all sorts of hot water and was immediately yanked. Ads in 2009 and 2010 were both rejected.
3. PETA’s “Veggie Love”: This 2010 ad had censors cocking their collective heads and asking, “What was PETA thinking?” The ad claims that vegetarians have better sex, but there seems to be some confusion with exactly whom – or what – vegetarians have better sex. From holding broccoli in one hand and her breast in the other, to rubbing asparagus on a bare breast, this commercial was incredibly provocative and a little strange, even for the SuperBowl.
4. Apology-bot 3000: Bud Light is probably best known for having the most banned Super Bowl ads of all time. This one is no exception; the Apology-bot 3000 is designed to smooth over any problem with a cold long neck of Bud Light. However, the topic matter was deemed to have been a bit too racy – apparently censors don’t like it too much when you are apologizing for creating sex tapes.
5. Bud Light’s 2006 Super Bowl ad: The beer company saw its ad banned again this time. It features two men, enjoying a beer who are presented with the “mother lode” when the bartender leaves to take a delivery – a fridge full of frosty Bud Light bottles. One of the men jumps the bar, intending to pilfer the beer, but is stopped when the bartender returns unexpectedly. He dives under the counter and is on all fours when the bartender decides to open a long neck with his “bottle opener”, though all the audience hears is a grunt from under the counter. Things get worse when a team comes in and orders two dozen beers.
In short, there will always be ads which raise eyebrows at any time of year. Fortunately, through the magic of websites like www.youtube.com, these ads still enjoy air time, and continue to get people laughing.