Osama Bin-Dorsement

Osama Bin-Dorsement

By Staff Writer
In April 5, 2011

Osama bin Laden may have been in hiding for nearly ten years, but he did make sporadic appearances – in advertising. Purposefully connecting your brand with such a nefarious character would be insane, right? Well, in many cases, yes.

Osama Halls

Done by JWT Beijing, this ad may explain why we had such a difficult time locating bin Laden – he had Halls! Of course, if we were going to get technical about it, the lack of any warmth in this thermal imaging would make me believe the man is already dead. Either way, he’s not bothered by a scratchy throat anymore.

Osama New Balance

Or how about this New Balance ad from Redifussion Y&R in India that encourages you to keep running – just like Osama! With all of the controversy that celebrity athletes like Tiger Woods and Ben Roethlisberger have gotten into these days, I can see why you’d want to go with something safer. You know, like a terrorist or something.

Osama Liquid Paper

Or this student ad for correction fluid! The headline here translates to “Osama bin Laden is hiding in ______”. Rats! No one will discover his secret hiding place now! Unless, that is, they happen to have a nickel handy and the compulsion to gently scratch off the product to reveal the word below. And, honestly, who would?

Osama Beta

Here’s a pretty solid effort created for a delivery service by Brazilian agency White Propaganda. I get it – if you can find Osama, you can find anyone’s address. But finding the correct address is the price of entry for a delivery company, isn’t it? And what do you suppose is in that box?

It’s a pretty good bet that even after his death, we’ll continue to see bin Laden pop up in advertising. Heck, Hitler is still selling hats and highlighters, decades after his demise. But there is one place where advertising and Osama won’t be found together – Google search advertising.

As Fast Company reports, no advertisers had purchased Osama bin Laden’s name in AdWords. Meaning that no ads appeared when “bin Laden” was searched. Considering that searches for “bin Laden” increased by one million percent virtually overnight, is this a missed opportunity? Or maybe – just maybe – connecting your brand to one of the world’s most hated men isn’t such a great idea? Hmmm.

Staff Writer

So who is this mysterious staff writer? Could be anyone really, as long as they meet our very strict criteria. 1) Worked with us in one capacity or another. 2) Have something pretty interesting to say. 3) Want to use our blog to say it. See? Told ya they were strict!