Smell That? 10 of the World's Cheesiest Ads

I admire the way that the word "cheese" has morphed into the carrier of different meanings.  In one sense it can be a delicious food substance (my favorite thing on the planet-it even surpasses my love of beer).  In another sense it can mean "corny."

Which is odd, because corn and cheese look and taste nothing alike-though when combined are quite yummy.  What's up with all of these food references?

Suffice it to say that "cheesy," according to can mean:

1. of or like cheese (duh-the "duh" was me, by the way)
2. Slang. inferior or cheap; chintzy

Keeping this in mind, I scoured the Internet for ads that fit one definition or the other.  There was the occasional meeting of the two, as you shall see.


1. Absolut Vodka

Ya gotta admit: Kanye IS a better look for the guy...Ya gotta admit: Kanye IS a better look for the guy...

Um... what?

I mean, I can understand the concept.  Take a Be KANYE pill and be... well, Kanye West.  Sure, he's a handsome guy.  But his rep isn't particularly something I'd want to run my ad campaign off of.

So... I equate the Be KANYE pill to vodka...  And if I drink the vodka, I turn into a guy with a big ego?

And don't get me started on the "Show me your Kanye" blurb next to the blonde.

Those thoughts aside, the actual ad itself is really cheesy.  Sort'a like the old Charles Atlas ad where the kid gets kicked in the face with dirt.



2. Nike

Attention all second graders: Send your art to NikeAttention all second graders: Send your art to Nike

I get it.  They're bringing back a "classic" shoe that was quite popular.  But... zombies?  Lemme say that again: zombies.

The idea of a rotting, worm-infested foot in my shoe is enough to make me hurl.

I suspect that this crossed the minds of the marketing people when they commissioned the artwork.  Keeping the concept of a dead foot in my shoe as far from my mind as possible, all the while using animated corpses in the ad campaign, had to have been quite the marketing hurdle.

And the tagline, "Just re-live it" confuses me.  Zombies aren't alive.  They're mindless, shuffling masses of rotting flesh that has been re-animated by the dark genius of a necromancer.

Don't get me wrong-I actually like it.

Cheesy?  Ohhhhhhh, yeah.  And kind'a cute.  I picture the zombie on the right going, "Grrrrrrrrr!"



3. Electrolux Toe cheeseToe cheese

 Here is an example of cheese meeting cheese, so to speak.  What you can't see in the ad, as it is far too small, is the tagline "Get rid of foot odor.  Introducing the new Electrolux with exclusive shoe wash program."

Well, I guess this would come in handy if you got a post-zombie Nike.

CHEESE FACTOR: Swiss, of course


4. Niche: Toys for Grownups

Anybody for an acid flashback?Anybody for an acid flashback?

What the hell is this?????

Here: take a look at the expression on my face when I stumbled on this ad:

From what I can gather, Niche toys are manufactured for adults.  This one is called the Unicornisaurus.


My concept of adult toys is FAR different from what is represented by that fake-o thing cradled in the arms of the  "I just escaped from The Sound of Music and found myself in some LSD-induced dream world" woman.

In my world, that critter, real or fake, looks like it would hurt.

CHEESE FACTOR: Low-fat String Cheese


 5. SeaGro Plant Food Gah!!!!  Head for the hills!!!  We're being attacked by garnish!!!Gah!!!! Head for the hills!!! We're being attacked by garnish!!!

 I'm a huge fan of B-rate horror flicks from the 1950s and 1960s, so it should come as no surprise to you that I like this ad.

My only complaint is that the giant parsley doesn't look menacing enough.  It should have glowing eyes... or fangs... or maybe big, green claws.

Even the house doesn't look in jeopardy.  Whoever cooks in that household probably goes out and cuts pieces off for garnish.

CHEESE FACTOR: Havartti with Dill


  6. Taco Bell

Nothin' says love like a heart attack in a tortilla...Nothin' says love like a heart attack in a tortilla...

 Let "...the heart-melting begin"????

Let the heart-clogging begin, I say.

CHEESE FACTOR: Fried Mozzarella


 7.Anti-Child Labor Campaign

I wonder if the box on the kid contains cheese...?I wonder if the box on the kid contains cheese...?

 I am totally against child labor.  I think it's truly horrible and have donated time and money toward ending it.  So I think that, in theory, this campaign is a pretty cool idea.  Remember that phrase: In Theory.

This ad is showing photos of a sculpture of a kid in rags lugging a giant box over his head.  The box was attached via a pulley system to another box, creating a counter-balance.  As money was donated into the other box, the box on top of the kid would lift up, thus lightening his load.

The campaign was apparently insanely successful-and I applaud all involved for their innovative approach.

That being said...

This is soooooooooo cheesy.  It reeks of puppy dog eyes gazing from the TV screen while the dirge-like opus of Sarah McLachlan's "In the Arms of the Angels" drones saccharinely out of the speakers.

Yep.  Call me a bastard, but I hate that one, too.  If I want my heart-strings tugged, I'll simply go outside and look around.  I don't need a soundtrack or a sculpture to do it for me.

Oh, yeah!  If you can find a larger version of the image above, check out the kid; he's really creepy looking.  He'd look good in zombie Nike's.

CHEESE FACTOR: Processed Cheese Food


 8. Papa John's Pizza

It looks sort'a like a delicious cheese asteroid crashing to the earthIt looks sort'a like a delicious cheese asteroid crashing to the earth

This is what I think it would be like if Spider-Man delivered pizza.  Cool...  Though I'd be afraid to walk under it.

CHEESE FACTOR: Brie with roasted garlic cloves, a hunk of crusty bread, and some grapes


9. OSO Food Wrap

Don't do it!!!!Don't do it!!!!

This little cheese guy is just soooo cute... but apparently suicidal.

CHEESE FACTOR: One of those tiny little Laughing Cow cheeses


 10. McDonald's

 Okay, I saved what I consider as the strangest for last.

It's not that the commercial itself is particularly bad.  The production value is quite high, sporting some nice lighting and direction.  Sure, it's a cheesy concept-but if you look into it, there's more than meets the eye.

Here you have the President of the United States (well, okay-he's an actor, but he's PLAYING the President of the United States) utilizing the secret service to insure that he gets a late-night meal.

Upon receiving his food, the Prez says: "Lucky you were open."

Now, before you nail me on freaking out about this line, I want you to note: he does NOT say, "I'm lucky you were open."  He says, "Lucky YOU were open."

It's like the Prez was gonna nuke the entire country if the McDonald's wasn't open to serve up a fine, late-night heart attack on a bun!

And this threat comes AFTER secret service agents drag kids from their homes and personal lives to force them into working over the grills and fry vats.

The tragic beauty of this ad is that it shows how we, as a nation, look to the global community: we look like bullies.

I could be wrong, but... McDonald's is an American owned company, right?  As such, doesn't this ad reek of a regional marketing campaign for a global chain in a global economy?  I mean, back when the entire world couldn't see this stuff at the tap of a button, I could see this as a viable marketing strategy.  I don't know if this type of thinking is viable in our world today.

CHEESE FACTOR: Red-White-and-Bleu Cheese, all moldy

SOURCE: Ads of the World,   

Apr 9, 2009
by Anonymous

Charles Atlas

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