80 Extreme Advertisements That Will Challenge Your Mind

An advertisement’s aim is to instantly attract the attention of viewers. Some use humour to draw viewers’ attention, but there are other kinds of advertisements that go to extremes to present something different. As a follow up to our previous article 60 Humorous Advertisements That Will Tickle Your Bones, today we look at the opposite extreme to using humour in advertisements.

Presenting another side to design, some of the advertisements shared in this article today may be a little visually disturbing or conceptually controversial. While some might find them somewhat perverse yet creatively brilliant, others might cringe and be disgusted or disapproving of their content or style. Everyone has a right to an opinion.

Warning: Viewers Discretion Is Advised!

Extreme Advertisements
Image from: Squid

80 Controversial and Disturbing Print Ads

Let’s look at these advertisements objectively with an open and analytical mind and appreciate the creativity that went into it. One has to wonder how the creative directors and designers came up with these concepts. What was the thought process and rational behind their radical ideas? Was there prior censorship and surveying done in a control group before the decision to go ahead with the advert was made? No matter the response, such advertisements do exist and are on the rise. Does challenging the norm by being controversial and extreme payoff by leaving an impact or making an impression on viewers? This is an answer we’d love to find out.

Here are 80 controversial advertisements that challenge the boundaries of what is socially and morally acceptable with the use of dark humour and shock tactics. These print advertisements often use gore, vulgarity, sex, violence, and sometimes religion to promote their products or bring across the organisations’ message. These adverts either challenge social, political or moral propriety. That is why some of these advertisements are banned in certain countries. Although the use of such adverts can be effective, it is not for the faint of heart or small of mind. Not everyone can appreciate the beauty in such clever and deliberate ugliness.

Just liquid hand wash: Cockroaches
Liquid Handwash

Ariel: Pervert
Ariel

Amnesty International: Archery
Archery

AMAM - Association of Women Against Genital Mutilation: Plastic doll
Amam

Alka-Seltzer: New Year
Alka Seltzer

Alac: Kitchen
Alac

Ace: Tarantula
Ace

A Bela Sintra: Foot
A Bela Sintra Foot

WWF: Blood
WWF

Amnesty International: Red Little Tender
Violence Against Women

Vergessen ist ansteckend: Tub
Vergessen

TMF: Army
TMF

Queer Travel.de
The Other Side of America

Superette: Elevator
Superette

AIDS Awareness Campaign: Gay
Stop Aids

Stella Coffee Pot: Spider
Stella

SPID Advertising
Spid Advertising

Solid Paint: Cross
Solid

Skins: Defy Genetics
Skin Defy

Shared Responsibility: Kidnapping
Shared Responsibility

Semorin: Mustard
Semorin

Save the Children: Child Labour
Save The Children

Sanctuary, Save the tiger: Binocular
Sanctuary

RSPCA: Woman
Rspca

Pedestrian Council of Australia: Family
Road Safety Australia

Popeye Detergent Hipoalergenic: Hell raiser
Popeye

Pastorini Toy Store
Pastorini Toy Store

Oust: Everything has consequences
Oust

Nycomed: Agony
Nycomed

Cerveira Art Biennial: Botticelli
New Artist

Pet flea & tick spot on: Haircut
Never Keep a Parasite

MTV: Shot, Girl
MTV

Multiple Sclerosis Australia: Use By Dates
MS

Masterlock: Hippes
Masterlock

Lung cancer awareness: One
Lung Cancer

Love Life Stop Aids: Space
Love Life

Glassing Sunglasses: Kiss my glass
Kiss My Glass

Ariel Plus: Ketchup
Ketchup

RSF: Ink
Ink Flow

IndyAct: Bobcat
Indyact

Workplace Safety Insurance Board: Sign
Ignoring Safety

Colombian Association of Arterial Hypertension: Home
Hypertension

Humans for Animals: Seal
Human for Animals

Gringo’s Tequila: El Matador Peligroso
Gringos

Fur Free: Angry Fox
Fur Fury

Findus Fraich'Frites
Fraich Frites

Foundation Abbé Pierre: The Lifeguard
First Aid

Filigranes Bookstore: Las Vegas
Filigranes Bookstore

Procter & Gamble / Febreze: Fly
Febreze

Fashion Outlet Zurich: Cow
Fashion Outlet

Family Network Foundation: Dad
Family Network Foundation

Ramorama: Expose Yourself
Expose Yourself

Emirates Arthritis Foundation: Painful
Emirates Arthritis

Government of the State of Santa Catarina: Hamburger
Don't Swallow Smoke

Mettiamocilatesta.it
Don't Cut a Dream

13th Street
Crime Night

Concordia Children’s Services: Piglets
Concordia

E.N.P.A: Spray
Cosmetic Testing

Colin glass cleaner: Spider
Colin

NoButts.org Anti-Cigarette Butt Pollution Campaign: Catfish
Cigarette Butts Pollution

Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers: England
Child Soldiers

Child Health Foundation: The Scream
Child Abuse

Casa Do Menor: Hands
Casa Do Menor

Casa & Perfume air freshener: Fish
Casa

Caribu Bitter: Poison
Caribu Poison

Caribu Bitter: Canari
Caribu

Canex: Spaniel
Canex

Eagle Print Awards 2009: Cactus
Cactus

NSW Health
Binge Driving

Aware Helpline: Verbal abuse
Aware

Ashtraymouth: Roach girl
Ashtray Mouth

Vancouver Aquarium
Vancouver

YouthSPK
Youth Spk

One Life Shower
One Life

Domestic Violence: Piece of meat
Meat

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
Lung Cancer Foundation

Good Parent
Good Parent

Domestic Violence: Living Room
Domestic Violence

Descriminatie.nl
Discriminatie

Karabine
Karabine

Too Much To Handle?

What do you think of these extreme advertisements? Do you think their shock tactics worked? Are you for or against such advertising concepts? If these are not the most shocking or disturbing advertisements you’ve seen or you’ve seen others that deserve a mention, feel free to share them with us. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of extreme advertising prints.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of Onextrapixel.