Top Ten Most Offensive Israeli Ads

Over the years, the Israeli ad agencies seem less and less connected to the human experience and more and more willing to use anything to sell everything. In this list I attempt to countdown the most offensive advertisements created in Israel in recent years, in the hope of using shame as an incentive to be more creative.

2005 – Yes Satellite TV Ad – McCann Erickson


With millions of Vietnamese dead and 60,000 Americans dead, this ad counts on its viewers inability to feel any empathy to casualties of a war that is not their own.

2002 – Yes Satellite TV Ad – McCann-Kesher-Barel


With more than 1500 people who drowned in one of the worst maritime disasters, the creative genius of Israel’s leading advertising agency adds insult to injury and in an impressive juglling act puts the wheel of the liner in a woman’s hands.

Continues here.

Top Israeli Advertisement Campaign Fiascos

2005 – Cellcom I Mode – McCann Erickson
Three million dollars to teach Israelis to count to three in Japanese


Israeli wireless telecom provider Cellcom imported from Japan DoCoMo’s I Mode, a cellular content platform. Sure of itself, as companies tend to be in this period of late capitalism, the company did not bet on its customers’ positive experiences to gradually conquer the market. Instead Cellcom spent 3 million dollars (count them, ichi, ni, san million dollars) on a marketing campaign that would not stop.
After weeks of broadcasting a teaser, promising, how cliché, ‘the next big thing’, the company used TV ads to introduce the technology, and newspaper ads to explain why we must have it.
Surely enough, with so much hubris – the wrath of the gods had to produce a tragic end. The service was a complete failure and people today do not even remember what Cellcom I Mode is.

2005 – Tnuva – Shoko Shock Milk Chochlate Drink – McCann Erickson
10 million dollars to downgrade a succesful product


Leading Israeli food company Tnuva, have launched a new product, investing 8 million dollars in research and development, and 1.5 million dollars in marketing. This might be a good example of ad agencies creating a need for their own services, as the new product, Schoko Shock, replaces two older products, Schoko Carlo, and Schoko Buddy, which were very popular. Of course, Tnuva could not be bothered with its customers trying out the product and deciding for themselves. Oh, no, the company would have none of that. Instead, as part of the marketing campaign, the company published an apology in the newspaper, falsely stating it cannot produce the product fast enough, as it is flying off the shelves.
Surely enough, with so much hubris – the wrath of the gods had to produce a tragic end. After so much money spent, the new product sold less than the old products, as it did not have their good reputation.

End of Part 1

Engbrew Flavored Potato Chips

We all misspell, no doubt about it, even more so when using a language other than our mother tongue. But lately it seems there is an inverse relationship between the Israelis’ infatuation with the English language, and their actual interest in mastering it. An excerpt from the TV ad for the Tatoomania campaign It always dazzles me how companies spend piles of money on advertisements without spending a minute to check for spelling errors. Israeli food company Elite backs its snacks campaign with a website for kids, where they can start their own blog and get popularity votes for it. I can only speculate what is the effect of a kid typing daily and then going off to the world wondering why everyone is spelling it with three T’s.

And don’t get me started on sticker tattoos for kids, kiddie blogs as pedophile hangouts, the unnecessary rating system on that website, or the fat contents in the snacks you need to buy to get the tattoo.

You Gotta Love IP-Based Advertisement

Sexy Girls in Kefar HabadThis is a screenshot of an ad for 'Sexy Girls in Kefar Habad' (photos blurred by me), supposedly trying to lure me for some pr0n by an IP-to-city query. Nevermind that I do not live near Kefar Habad, but I doubt there are many sexy girls looking for fun there – as it is an all ultra-Orthodox Jewish village in central Israel.