There's advertising — and then there's badvertising, promotions so awful they make you cringe. We saw a lot of the latter at Comic-Con 2011. We've rounded up the best of the worst advertisements, for your enjoyment.
It's an NCIS flashdance, as they do on NCIS every week! Oh wait, they don't break dance with little kids on the police procedural about solving crime with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps? Huh.
Finally, someone has mashed-up Marvel comic book heroes and monster trucks. This is is just classic "giving the people what they want." Monster truck comic book fans, your cries have been heard.
Have you seen the show Bad Girls Club? No, OK let me sum it up for you, a bunch of girls get wasted and show off their poor decision making skills while wearing tube tops. So naturally you can all see why they would advertise this on the side of a car. Drunk women in cars, it's a perfect combination. Great job everyone!
Step one: win nightmare inducing Tweetie-Bird Car. Step two: drive car into brick wall. Step three: profit!
A time traveler handed out Jane's Addiction water bottles from an old Lollapalooza concert. HOW IS THIS RELEVANT? Also, are there a lot of JA fans at comic-con? Is this the event where they choose to make their move? Not at a music show?
Via twitter user JungleRock (thanks for finding this relic!)
Do you dream of waking up every morning and sliding your toes into Kevin Smith's mouth? Yes! Well then, we have the disgusting foot-to-face fetish shoe for you! Smith announced that he would be selling these horrifying sneakers at Comic-Con, complete with a vacant-eyed shoe monster living on the sole of the sneaker. What a fun thing to buy. Right?
Apparently cyber-crime was a big issue during World War II.
We're calling a moratorium on all QR Code ads everywhere. This does not mean we don't love a good scavenger hunt (as many of these were used for that purpose) but for each QR Code we spot, our urge to kill rises just a little bit higher. THIS IS NOT FUN NOR ENJOYABLE TO LOOK AT EVER.
True Blood has super sexy elevator ads at Comic-Con 2010 (the up and down arrows were positioned on Sookie's neck, thus making it look like the character had bite marks on her neck). This year they just lined the walls with ho-hum True Blood promo stills. And the fans let everyone know they were unimpressed, by vandalizing each image — which the True Blood people didn't manage to replace, clean or cover up.
Oh, Shark Night. Oh, Shark 3D stand, why do you have a shark head in a cage with a flatscreen TV? So confused.
And the award for the most boring yet extremely large booth on the floor of Comic-Con goes to Avengers. A massive black stage that was used for Castle signings. This booth was a flop (as we've mentioned before). Every time we walked by, people were milling around outside confusedly, wondering how to interact with the booth or find out what would happen there. Meanwhile folks down the road were lining around the block to saw off their limbs at the Walking Dead booth.
Via Catalina Twitter User (we too think Castle and Nathan Fillion both rock).
A videogame booth sponsored prominently by deodorant. What is this, a teen hygiene movie from the 1950s?
We were on the fence for a looooong time about this one. But in the end, the desperate attempt to market spa packages to the Comic-Conners was dubbed badvertising. The "Russell Edginton's Spine Snap" massage concept is full of win, but the the "Don't Look Like The Walking Dead Facial" fell a bit short for us. We know people love to market to the masses during the Comic-Con, but come on.
Camp Playboy inexplicably brought us these Playboy Supergirls. Gold chains hold their capes on!
Nothing is scarier than a giant smurf looming over the bridge connecting the Convention Center with downtown San Diego. With its scary whirling eyes and distended body, this mega-smurf was freaking everybody out — and not in a good way. DO NOT WANT GIANT SMURF.
Additional reporting by Annalee Newitz and Jonathan Wilkins.