Sunday, August 10, 2014

Awful Stock Photos Turned Into Awful Ads.


The amount of time I've spent on stock photo websites (mostly shitty Getty, of course) over the last 15+ years would be measured in months, not hours. Any ad creative who's had to work with either cheap-ass clients who wouldn't pay for a shoot even if you took their fucking kids hostage or dipshit clients who just didn't see the point knows the mental pain of paging and scrolling for half a day until you find that one image that is slightly less shit-awful than the previous 2,000. And why do we do this? The ad's not going to help the client's business, the ad's not going in our portfolios, shit, it won't even be worth wiping our asses with—but we search and search and fucking SEARCH until diarrhea seeps out of our eyeballs.

It is, truly, one of the most pathetic activities a human being can do.

Well, this is my pathetic revenge. I've been collecting these unusable stock photos for about a year and, this past weekend, turned them into bad ads for major brands. Because, fuck you clients, and fuck you stock photo houses and your shitty cheap photos. I did the ads quickly, in Word, so they would look extra special shitty.

Here you go, Eli fucking Lilly.
It's no worse than your skeevy post-coital hand-holding two bath tubs sign off.

You young "content creators" won't remember the classic Hebrew National commercial from the 1970s featuring an insane-looking Uncle Sam. The "higher authority" in the tagline is of course God, not somebody/thing referenced very often in advertising these days. (ConAgra discarded the 110 year-old, NYC-born kosher hot dog brand's tagline in the 1990s.)
This kid looks like he's keen on meeting his maker.

Why would somebody put the Mona Lisa on a tongue?
Fuck you, 123RF, and fuck you Listerine and your useless"breath strips".

"Creepy facial-haired middle manager in a suspect red-ish dress shirt just wrenched one out in the work bathroom." That's what the description on 123RF should say. It doesn't. Quick, sign up your new "Mr. Fix-It" spokesman, Stanley Black & Decker.

Hey, look LensCrafters! "Eye" think your new funky-cool icon lockup works splendidly with this gem from shutterstock. Nothing sells eyewear faster than an horrific image that sort of implies badly botched lasik surgery.

This photo is child porn, Thinkstock.
If those girls aren't that guy's daughters...
Wait. That only makes it worse.
Run with it, Baskin Robbins. Court the pedo demo.

The Beef Council is frankly tired of all the shit they've been taking lately: Beef is bad for you; Beef is bad for the environment; Beef is bad for your "soul", as if that's a real thing. You know what's real, vegan pantywaists? The taste of a medium rare rib eye.
Critics say the Council is afraid to show cows in their ads. Well, here's a solution: Hire "Cowman" as your spokes-creature. Shove that face right in the agog faces of the PETA pussies. He'd be like the Marlboro Man's deformed brother.

Another creepy facial-haired fuckface, this one contemplating his horrible life choices lying on a flat cake for some imagined reason found within the unimaginative mind of a failing commercial photog. I did my best/worse.

Scat Porn combined with Joker Face. Wonderful.
Not Nutella's official tagline.

That's about all the House this underage student/pregnant-teacher-who-sorta-looks-like-Helen-Mirren marriage can afford right now. But Wells Fargo has plenty of experience with toxic home loans. Just understand, lovebirds, that the "we'll" in their tagline refers just to them.

This photo is titled "Ballerina" on Thinkstock.
I focused on the "rail" part of the photo, as it is the only usable part.

Here's an ad history lesson for you ad student dipshits: Accenture used to be Andersen Consulting who way back in the (mostly) pre-Photoshop early 1990s via Y&R NYC did some good simple animal-themed print (one two) and TV (one). It was so good and successful, about 10,000 b2b businesses have since copied (badly) the animal kingdom riff.
Another bad use for this stupid photo could be as a replacement cover for Augusten Burroughs' "memoir", Running With Scissors.

I abhor kitchen shows, so I don't know if "Cutthroat Kitchen" is just women, men, or what. I also don't know if the above Kitchen Führer is a man or a woman. The hands and ring say "man", but... It's definitely not Alton Brown.

The title of this photo is: "In with both feet". I guess if you needed to show "man putting his foot in his mouth", this technically works. But, no, not really.

The balloon hat is a retirement "gift" from his workplace. He's going to try to sell it on craigslist for $1,000, claim Jeff Koons made it. Then, he's going to take a vacation. He can't afford to go anywhere, so he's just going to set up camp near the rock quarry for a few days. Go swimming. Maybe kill somebody.

You can buy both of those items at my hick hometown Super Walmart.
Thank you, iStock. I'm going to use this ad image as the centerpiece of a spec campaign email pitch to CEO and Tennessee good ole boy Doug McMillon. My ≈1,000 cousins are his core clientele.

You think of a better use for a stock photo of a "doctor" delivering a fucking pineapple.

Gorton's tagline in the 1980s was: "If It Isn't Gorton's, Throw It Back." As an SVA student, that hit me as a smart strapline.  I don't remember the agency. Anyway, fuck this incomprehensible photo.

Title: "Elderly man falls down with a walker on a lawn."
I could've made a MedicAlert bracelet ad. But that would've been what's called a "see-say" ad—which is a hacky no-no. So, fertilizer ad it is.

Thinkstock title: "Scary Bloody Zombie Wearing A Cap And Glasses". Also, "holding a sign". He/she looks nothing like a zombie and a lot like a mummy, and I have zero ideas for what this photo could actually be used for.

As far as I'm concerned, this is the best PrepH ad ever assembled. It's the only use I could think of for this useless Getty image, other than to illustrate a man doing things "ass backwards"—but he looks too fucking happy.

NOTE #1: Send me any bad stock photo, and I will turn it into a bad brand ad for you.

NOTE #2: I've been unemployed now for nine months since being fired by BuzzFeed. This is mostly because of, I'm finding out, Ageism. If you're over 50, you're as good as dead to New York City "new" media companies. I'm asking for half of what I'm worth from people 20-25 years younger than me who can't take a smidge of constructive criticism (from somebody who has created somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 ads, won 3 CLIOs, etc.) about why/how their advertising, native or otherwise, could be better.


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