It is estimated that in 2021 an average person might be exposed to as many as 10,000 ads per day. It seems like a lot, but when you think about it, ads bombard us on social media, TV, billboards, and even inside our fortune cookies. We get so used to them that we don't even notice.

One would like to think that marketing and advertising should bridge the gap between the seller and the buyer; make people trust the product and encourage them to use it. But their words often sound too good to be true. And they often are. If you see a big sign yelling “Everything's 30% off”, it might be designed to make you miss the small line at the bottom where it says that the offer applies to a handful of selected items only. Congratulations, you've just encountered false marketing.

This time, we will check out a few 'sometimes ridiculous, other times alarming and infuriating' marketing techniques that evil businesses use to take advantage of us and manipulate customers into buying more stuff. Continue scrolling and see these examples for yourself!

After you're done reading, don't forget to check out this previous Bored Panda post with 30 pictures that companies do not want you to see.

#2

Man, That's Really Cheap... Oh

Man, That's Really Cheap... Oh

LuMo096 Report

Demi Zwaan
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Holy sh*t. Seriously? It’s 24 dollars an hour just to park? Ridiculous!

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To find out more about false marketing, Bored Panda reached out to Atul Minocha, partner at marketing consulting firm Chief Outsiders and author of a recently published book “Lies, Damned Lies, and Marketing: Separate Fact from Fiction and Drive Growth”.

Generally, false advertising involves companies giving out false and misleading information to advertise products to their customers. This covers product descriptions, pricing, and quality. Big organizations might advertise benefits you won't actually get or give features you didn't expect to see in the first place.

#3

Packaging For These Markers

Packaging For These Markers

Chev_350 Report

Buren
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

We have enough law and regulations, but I hope there is a regulation that prohibits company from doing this. Besides the lies, they create so much unnecessary waste, and excess packaging too.

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#4

And During A Pandemic

And During A Pandemic

Colon Brew , Colon Brew Report

Olivia Lisbon
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

With any luck it’ll end up with the school being slapped with a cyber ransom, and presto, no cheating because there’s no tests. Genius!

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Atul Minocha told Bored Panda that false marketing has an effect on everyone; it's bad for the businesses that practice it and it's obviously bad for the customers. “It simply builds distrust. In fact, if a customer has been through this a lot, she or he will start distrusting even good and legitimate messages,” he said.

When asked why deceptive marketing is so widely used, Atul said he doesn't actually think it forms the majority. “In other words, most of the marketing is legitimate. Unfortunately, a few bad apples can create a lot of stink and distrust,” he explained further. Having these kinds of doubts might lead customers into thinking that all marketing is more or less self-serving.

#5

I Have An Ad In My Fortune Cookie

I Have An Ad In My Fortune Cookie

Full_Metal_Machinist Report

#6

Bought A Chicken Pot Pie Thinking It Was The Size Of The Outer Tin Before Cutting Into It And Seeing This Monstrosity

Bought A Chicken Pot Pie Thinking It Was The Size Of The Outer Tin Before Cutting Into It And Seeing This Monstrosity

ItRhymesWithFreak Report

Buren
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Of course. We need more waste to deal with.

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According to this study, almost 70% of British consumers don't trust advertising (which is a slice of the marketing pie) in general and 42% distrust brands, seeing them as remote and unreachable. The internet era has turned customers into researchers. The ability to fact check “has built cynicism as consumers investigate multiple sources“ to reach the truth. The same study shows that six in ten buyers claim they have become more loyal to the brands they trust.

However, some companies still choose to hide disclaimers on billboards and posters, lie on product packaging and deceive their customers into signing agreements without asking to read them first. “People who practice [false marketing] still do it because, perhaps, they are what we might call fly-by-night operators who are really not interested in long-term success. They are only interested in short-term and immediate gains,“ Atul Minocha told Bored Panda.

#7

New Cereal Box Is 11% Taller With 1.6% Less Cereal

New Cereal Box Is 11% Taller With 1.6% Less Cereal

______--------- Report

d bradley
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

if you see a "new and improved" label on an item it's time to check and see how much less they are putting in the new package

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#8

So Basically Every Price

So Basically Every Price

BrendanTFirefly Report

Olivia Lisbon
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well, that’s every eventuality covered, then.

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But how should consumers react when they see deceptive marketing examples? According to Atul, customers should stay vigilant. If you have suffered from it, you should do at least one of these things (maybe even both): “One, file a complaint with the authorities. And two, use the power of social media to call out any misleading marketing encountered,“ he said.

Lastly, Atul is asking you not to reject all marketing, since most of it is actually good. “Great marketing starts with understanding the customer. This helps customers receive what they would want to receive,” he said. This way, there's trust between a company and its customers and that is crucial for any successful long-term relationship.

#9

Imagine Cleaning A Fan So Well That You Uncover 2 New Blades

Imagine Cleaning A Fan So Well That You Uncover 2 New Blades

erkang06 Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If they clean it even more, maybe it'll turn into a whole air conditioning unit.

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#10

That Would Explain Why My Ankle Hurts

That Would Explain Why My Ankle Hurts

ASAPxSyndicate Report

Miss Marmite
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

what are you supposed to do with a “kickball” other than kick it??

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#11

By Opening The Envelope For The License Agreement, You Agree To It

By Opening The Envelope For The License Agreement, You Agree To It

PandaKing185 Report

Olivia Lisbon
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Er…is that legal? I mean, if it said something really unreasonable, like “you’ve just agreed to never eat chocolate again.” or “your firstborn will now be sacrificed in the name of Tom Hanks.” would that be legally binding?

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#12

Walmart Employee Here. We Were Given These Shirts Today. Walmart Profits Billions Off Of This Pandemic, Then Compares Their Sacrifice To WW2 Veterans

Walmart Employee Here. We Were Given These Shirts Today. Walmart Profits Billions Off Of This Pandemic, Then Compares Their Sacrifice To WW2 Veterans

TehAwkwardOne Report

Otter
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's much cheaper to print t-shirts than to pay a living wage, or offer health insurance.

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#13

This “Dual” Camera Smartphone Doesn’t Have Two Functioning Cameras

This “Dual” Camera Smartphone Doesn’t Have Two Functioning Cameras

Funnyonol Report

A B C
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wouldn't it have been helpful if they said what brand this is so we can avoid it?

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#14

False Advertising Should Be A Felony

False Advertising Should Be A Felony

anniemaymoo Report

CorgiGirl
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

$50 flights are first come/first serve basis. Usually there are only about 3 or 4 seats on a plane that go for $50 ONE WAY BEFORE TAX. Once theses are gone, you pay the higher price in increments depending on how many seats they are selling

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#15

When You Thumbs Down Trash Like This On Netflix But It Keeps Coming Back At The Top Of Your Homepage

When You Thumbs Down Trash Like This On Netflix But It Keeps Coming Back At The Top Of Your Homepage

wozmatic Report

#16

Went In For The $1.99 Lunch Special. Sorry Sir, That Says $7.99 Lunch Special

Went In For The $1.99 Lunch Special. Sorry Sir, That Says $7.99 Lunch Special

JeffTrav Report

Otter
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

How to get customers to walk out without buying anything...

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#17

The Mixed Signals Of This Shoe Sale Advertisement

The Mixed Signals Of This Shoe Sale Advertisement

MNgirlinaNDworld Report

#18

Unremovable Ads On My $2,500 Samsung Smart TV

Unremovable Ads On My $2,500 Samsung Smart TV

BrownLandlord Report

TitanFoxX
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Agressive advertisers should be shot. There, I said it.

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#19

My Mother Recently Passed Away. This Morning I Thought I Got An Email From Her. Nope, Just A Spam Tabloid Naming Their Contact "Mom"

My Mother Recently Passed Away. This Morning I Thought I Got An Email From Her. Nope, Just A Spam Tabloid Naming Their Contact "Mom"

Raise_Master Report

#20

This Packaging. Was Wondering Why It Ran Out So Quickly

This Packaging. Was Wondering Why It Ran Out So Quickly

GreenCupcake23 Report

Layla Corman
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I have this same exact product so of course I had to go see if my bottle looked like this too. After prying the top open for 5 minutes, sure enough mine looks the exact same, BUT I can't complain. The bottle is labeled as .5oz, which is a bit less than standard for skincare products. (For reference, a typical foundation is 1oz). This type of vaccum packaging helps us get most of the product out of the jar with little waste. The alternative would be to scoop the remaining product out with a cosmetics spatula. For the price of this, you definitely don't want waste. The good news is the glass jar is recyclable. Tip- when buying cosmetics and skincare, always look at the ounces and not the package/tube/jar!

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#21

Walgreens Replaced Their Freezer Window Panels With Screens That Constantly Flash/Move And Don't Even Accurately Represent What's Inside The Fridge

Walgreens Replaced Their Freezer Window Panels With Screens That Constantly Flash/Move And Don't Even Accurately Represent What's Inside The Fridge

catmomextraordinaire Report

Beth Sito
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As a person with a vestibular disorder, this would be a nightmare for me. I could see this giving me balance issues.

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#22

This Post Card Is Made To Look Like It’s From The Dealership. It’s Printed To Look Like The Information Is Smudged So That You Will Call Them

This Post Card Is Made To Look Like It’s From The Dealership. It’s Printed To Look Like The Information Is Smudged So That You Will Call Them

It’s a third-party warrantee company.

Darknight1993 Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Will result in *smudge* repair costs. Prey on anxiety. This is so sad

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#23

This "Avocado" Oil

This "Avocado" Oil

BoringGrass0 Report

Olivia Lisbon
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

At our supermarket you can get crème fraîche, crème fraîche light or sour cream. The label on the back of the crème fraîche light? Ingredients: sour cream. So weird.

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#24

Dish Network Sent Out Advertisements In Envelopes That Make It Look Like A Special Occasion Card

Dish Network Sent Out Advertisements In Envelopes That Make It Look Like A Special Occasion Card

Also, trying to manipulate people by making the cards look handmade by a child.

Pie-Makers-Mistress Report

FABULOUS1
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I had a guy from the cable company come to my door to try and convince me to change our carrier. He almost had me at the cheaper price per month, but further research it was only for 3 months than I would be charged regular price. But he continued to hound me after I told him that it wasnt a good time to talk because I had all 4 of my grandkids that day. I dont like to be pressured on a sale, took a while for him to understand the word no.

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#25

I Live In Minneapolis, Some Jerk Is Leaving This In Tip Jars Around Town Ahead Of Trump’s Rally Today

I Live In Minneapolis, Some Jerk Is Leaving This In Tip Jars Around Town Ahead Of Trump’s Rally Today

catherine_zetascarn Report

Chich
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wipe your ass with it and mail it to the orange headed buffon.

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#26

An "Empty" Ink Cartridge That Probably Could Have Printed Another 50+ Sheets

An "Empty" Ink Cartridge That Probably Could Have Printed Another 50+ Sheets

Anonymous_None Report

A B C
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's amazing and disgusting that companies are willing to waste so much ressources to make a little more profit

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#27

Sign The Contract Without Reading It Please

Sign The Contract Without Reading It Please

cy6nu5 Report

#28

I Just Found 20 Tunisian Dinars (7.5 Dollars) On The Ground, Then After Opening It, It Was Just An Advertisement For Some Stupid Discount

I Just Found 20 Tunisian Dinars (7.5 Dollars) On The Ground, Then After Opening It, It Was Just An Advertisement For Some Stupid Discount

khalil-ammari Report

Olivia Lisbon
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Again, just annoying. Doesn’t make me want to shop there - in fact quite the opposite.

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#29

This Website Hilariously Just Stretches The Pixels To Turn Regular Clothing Into "Maternity" Clothing

This Website Hilariously Just Stretches The Pixels To Turn Regular Clothing Into "Maternity" Clothing

LurkeyMcLurkersen Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

They also don't seem to know how bodies work under clothing.

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#30

They Took Away The In-Store Signage To Force You To Download Their App

They Took Away The In-Store Signage To Force You To Download Their App

JustDewItPLZ Report

Buren
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Find it fast????? Is it faster than just displaying it? I hate 'forced technology', garbage apps, useless memberships to enable some basic functions that are not broken.

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#31

I Just Got Ad In The Mail Disguised As A Hand-Written Letter. Address Is Covered So I Don't Doxx Myself

I Just Got Ad In The Mail Disguised As A Hand-Written Letter. Address Is Covered So I Don't Doxx Myself

pillager_of_poopers Report

#32

This Pamphlet I Got On My Door Making Me Not Want To Touch My Doorknob Until I Realized

This Pamphlet I Got On My Door Making Me Not Want To Touch My Doorknob Until I Realized

yusefudattebayo Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Eh, I don't have a problem with this one. It's attention-getting but clearly only an ad as the ants are 2-D not 3-D.

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#33

This "Gold" Chalk That My Daughter Received As A Gift. White Chalk Spray-Painted Gold

This "Gold" Chalk That My Daughter Received As A Gift. White Chalk Spray-Painted Gold

Benci007 Report

Buren
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That gold poop is the literal version of click bait.

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#34

I Love Ads On My £250 Console That I Continue To Pay £6 A Month To Play On

I Love Ads On My £250 Console That I Continue To Pay £6 A Month To Play On

TS_Optics Report

Jason Doakes
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Seriously? You get ads on the Xbox? AND you're paying monthly fees?

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See Also on Bored Panda
#35

Is That Really Free Delivery?

Is That Really Free Delivery?

theskyopened Report

#36

This Vending Machine Is 100% Sold Out. It Only Tells You That Items Are Sold Out After You've Put Money In/Used Your Card

This Vending Machine Is 100% Sold Out. It Only Tells You That Items Are Sold Out After You've Put Money In/Used Your Card

Digiboy62 Report

Olivia Lisbon
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

But it’s still so shiny? Why hasn’t it been bashed to pieces and graffitied to within an inch of its bastard life by all the people it’s duped?

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#37

Food Delivery Service That Tells You “Someone Is At The Door! Okay We Lied”

Food Delivery Service That Tells You “Someone Is At The Door! Okay We Lied”

kmartshoppr Report

TitanFoxX
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

By default I disable notifications for every app, except messengers.

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#38

This Kettle Saves 70% Energy. As Long As You Need To Boil 70% Less Water

This Kettle Saves 70% Energy. As Long As You Need To Boil 70% Less Water

UnlikeSome Report

No you didn't
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You can even save 100% of energy by not boiling any water at all!

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#39

Nearly Didn't Notice The Cheapest Car Wash Program

Nearly Didn't Notice The Cheapest Car Wash Program

tarek122 Report

Johanna
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Katzen-Wäsche! Thats what children do, just a very quick cleanup in the morning. XD

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#40

Chipotle Goes All-Out Advertising That For The Next Week Delivery Is Free, And Then Casually Makes The Delivery Menu Priced Higher Than The Regular One

Chipotle Goes All-Out Advertising That For The Next Week Delivery Is Free, And Then Casually Makes The Delivery Menu Priced Higher Than The Regular One

Arucious Report

Dave P
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Delivery is usually done by a third party app or company that takes a 25%-30% cut, nearly all places mark up for deliver so they actually make money.

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#41

Advertise Free WiFi But Make Sure The Customers Know The Procedure For How To Pay For It

Advertise Free WiFi But Make Sure The Customers Know The Procedure For How To Pay For It

mauricewilliams455 Report

James016
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Free wifi with the purchase of whatever the place is selling?

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#42

Retail Sign At H&M Today. The Small Line Is Hard To Read In Person

Retail Sign At H&M Today. The Small Line Is Hard To Read In Person

DarkRoastt Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There's always been a joke about these sales. Somewhere in the store, in the most unlikely place, is a $3 facecloth. So prices do indeed start at $3

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#43

I Got A Ticket. No, Just An Ad For A Tattoo Place

I Got A Ticket. No, Just An Ad For A Tattoo Place

Hummocky Report

Samantha Lomb
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Would instantly make me go literally anywhere else for a tattoo

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#44

My School Has Vending Machines With Candy That Costs 1.50. They Conveniently Leave Off The 1 So It Looks Like It Costs 0.50

My School Has Vending Machines With Candy That Costs 1.50. They Conveniently Leave Off The 1 So It Looks Like It Costs 0.50

Lopad_NotThePokemon Report

Dill
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Unless it says the real price somewhere on the machine, isn't this illegal?

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See Also on Bored Panda
#45

Who Thought It Was A Good Idea To Put An Image Of 7 Churros For The Sign Of 3 Churros

Who Thought It Was A Good Idea To Put An Image Of 7 Churros For The Sign Of 3 Churros

Imhereforgiofilmsbro Report

Don Golosso
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

$4 for three churros, Damn! I mean, it's literally some fried dough with sugar on top.

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#46

Please, Just Stop Using Fake Money As Advertising

Please, Just Stop Using Fake Money As Advertising

notbeatrizportinari Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Most companies have a freepost number. Collect the unwanted garbage, pack it in a box with a brick and send it back to them. They have to pay for the weight of the package. In the Netherlands you can send packages up to 30 KG (66 Lbs) to a freepost number which will cost the company €17 on postage.

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#47

Got A Letter In An Envelope Which Said My Lease Was Terminated. Just Another Ad

Got A Letter In An Envelope Which Said My Lease Was Terminated. Just Another Ad

enderr920 Report

Olivia Lisbon
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I don’t think I’d be that tempted to give money to a company that randomly decided to scare the s**t out of me.

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#48

How To Dissapoint Every Student On Campus

How To Dissapoint Every Student On Campus

sharkyboi Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I like this one. It's a sign for not eating in the Library with a quirky sense of humour.

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#49

Film Producers: "We Need To Advertise We Have Multiple CGI Dragons." Marketers: "Say No More"

Film Producers: "We Need To Advertise We Have Multiple CGI Dragons." Marketers: "Say No More"

is_it_a_lie Report

Amy Pattie
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The tackiness of this one is “so bad it’s good” territory

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#50

This Advertisement Designed To Look Like An Amazon Package

This Advertisement Designed To Look Like An Amazon Package

Nic0lodeon Report

Note: this post originally had 101 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.