The Ad of the week: "Swinging Cat" (Nokia 3650 - Australia)

Salt Lake City, Utah
September 22, 2011

Politically Incorrect
The allegedly Nokia 3650's commercial shows a couple of young men chortling as their cat catches its paw on the trailing cord of a rotating ceiling fan. It gets spun around several times til thrown against a wall with an audible thump.

As the two men rush to help the poor cat, a third person is shown in the foreground capturing the whole thing using the video settings of his Nokia 3650.

Given the "western world's sensitivity" to the treatment of animals (particularly common pet species such as cats and dogs), not many companies would try to sell their product using such an ad unless they were deliberately engaged in the gambit of generating attention through negative publicity. Right?

I say, if you do it...and it goes wrong: deny deny deny... But lets see it:

Credits | Advertising Agency: Unclaimed, Sidney, Australia | Original title: “Swinging Cat” |March 2003

Deny deny deny!

Right after the video became viral, Nokia disclaimed any connection to the commercial, maintaining that it had "been proposed to Nokia by an external party" (a subcontractor of their advertising agency), that it had been "categorically rejected" by Nokia, and that it was "not an official Nokia advertisement"

Nokia representative said,"Nokia is aware of the video material portraying a cat and a Nokia mobile phone, which is being distributed on the Internet. The footage has not been used in our advertising and it is not an official Nokia advertisement."

"While the external creators who have created the material have assured us that trick photography was used and no animal was harmed, this does not detract from the distasteful nature of the content. In any event, we deeply regret the discomfort and concern that the circulation of this material may have caused." He added disclaiming any connection of the video to Nokia.

Exactly how much involvement Nokia may have had with this clip is difficult to determine. Some readers have reported to us that they have indeed seen it run as a television advertisement, but we haven't been able to verify that claim.

Offensive & Politically Incorrect
The popular TV show, Mad Men, portraits the "horror" (yet desirable) golden era of Advertising... where politically correct was tailored towards white men and high class.

The following is a collection of some of offensively politically incorrect real-ads from the Advertising's golden era and today's:


A classic take on the classic stereotype of the black servant happily... serving.


What you see here is an old Norwegian brand of tar/varnish used on wood burning ovens.

Stop JA

In 2004, the same SVP had success in restricting the naturalization laws for prospective new Swiss citizens, something which the party campaigned for again last year. Both times, this illustration was used on posters, showing thieving hands of many skin colours reaching into a pile of Swiss passports. Swiss naturalization laws are already among the strictest in the world.

Camel live to be 100 years

In the lower half, Camel claims that a survey among 113 597 doctors brought back Camel as the favorite brand.

Tipalet blow in her face

Though is hilariously politically incorrect... it's kind of clever... Flavored Cigarets for men...

Men are better than women
"Men are better than women! Indoors, women are useful, even pleasant".

The harder a wife works

"Gosh honey, you seem to thrive on cooking, cleaning and dusting".

Delmonte ketchup

Bottle design had come so far even women could manage opening their Ketchup bottles.

Kenwood Chef

According to this 1961 Kenwood ad, wives are for cooking.

Duncan Quinn

Get a divorce

Chicago lawyers Fetman, Garland & Associates seemed to have generated a lot of press buzz by these campaigns.

In an Absolut world

I could see how these ads, displayed in Miami and Mexico City, might cause a stir for some Americans.

benetton domestic violence

The color of Benetton: Domestic Violence

Dr Martens forever Cobain

Using dead people to endorse your products...

Of course there are many, many more examples of rather offensive or otherwise politically incorrect advertising.

Perhaps you have some examples of your own? Please do share...

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