Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rear Ending Hello Kitty

This isn't really weird or absurd, at least when it comes to advertising, but I thought it worth noting. I was in the Richardson Bike Mart today, and while waiting on a repair, I strolled around their large collection of bikes (it's a great shop). There, I came across a "Hello Kitty" bicycle.
It had a Hello Kitty frame, and a Hello Kitty bell.
But most notable was the Hello Kitty seat.

The perfect bike for those who have ever wanted the face of Hello Kitty close to their tuchas.

Today's entry is dedicated to friend and Hello Kitty connoisseur, Tracey McHenry.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Painful Adventures

My friend, Janine Chiappa McKenna, sent me this picture. She took it with her cell phone and from a moving car, which is why the sign is framed from a distance. She thought a place called "Adventure Dental and Vision" is worth a gander.
I guess it's a lot like the Dental Fun Zone in Los Angeles.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Too Much Excitement

Every now and again we get an Oriental Trading Company catalog in the mail, filled with fun things to mock. In the most recent one, I found this in the party supplies section:

I think this mother is a little too enthusiastic about the cake her son is decorating. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

There's a thin line between excited and downright scary.

I wonder if she's related to the weird deli guy, the frightening Dinty Moore lady, or Grandpa Sol?


Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 3/29/10

The Annoying J. Crew Model for the week of March 29th:

Here is the last in a series of J. Crew "head shots" I've been posting for the past several weeks. This apparently is the pensive, thoughtful pose. Nothing like holding onto your head to give you a look of sophistication.

For other images in the "head shot" series, see the entries for See other J. Crew head shots from 3/22/10, 3/15/10, 3/8/10, 3/1/10, 2/22/10, and 2/15/10.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Point Blank

I woke up this morning to find this sign placed in our yard. I'm not sure what it refers to or who put the sign there. What exactly is a "prayer point"? I would assume it is a notion, idea, or theological premise, but usually a sign refers to an activity or something spatially based. Is "prayer point" a specific location? An event? A faith-based safe haven in this den of iniquity?

All I know is that the person who put the sign in our yard better pray I don't find out who s/he is.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Paranoia Revisited

Here is another in what is becoming a series of ridiculous ads on Facebook.

Remember back in the 1990s, when there were paranoid right-wingers and militia fanatics claiming that Bill Clinton would soon be taking away everybody's guns, and that there were looming black helicopters and coded government messages on the backs of street signs to help bring about this eventual infringement of our liberties?

I guess with the delusional fringe, some things just don't change.

For more Facebook freakiness, see past entries for Pigman, Man-Child, and Osama Insurance.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Evony's Target Audience

I've commented before about the annoyance of the Evony ads that appear on various Websites (see my entries for 11/12/09, 10/8/09, 9/10/09, and 7/13/09). They keep popping up in new places and in different forms, kind of like a skin rash that refuses to go away. I thought I'd string together some of the more recent banners so as to establish unequivocally a pattern for the kind of target audience they have in mind:

I wonder if the people who create these ads drink bubble tea?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Constipated Taco Boy Revisited

If you were following the Gallery last year, you know that I showcased a series of stupid billboards scattered on Interstate 30 northeast of Dallas. One of those was an advertisement for Taco Casa and featured a chubby boy with what looked like a chronic case of constipation. Recently the franchise put up another billboard along I-30 with the same picture.

This time, however, they placed an image of a taco directly behind the kid, thus underscoring the boy's debilitating dietary choices. I guess the giant sugary drink in his hands wasn't convincing enough.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter

Believe it or not, the College of Arts and Sciences at Miami University (Ohio) used to have a learning lab with the acronym "HELL":

Someone sent this logo to me back in the late 1990s when I had the original Gallery of the Absurd. I think the Miami University folk have since renamed this support service, and for good reason. Maybe they were being biblical, pointing out how knowledge is the road to perdition.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nipple Tingling Goodness

Back in the Fall, someone sent me a picture that they took while overseas, one of a poster advertisement for Bubble Tea. I've lost that person's original email and contact information--if you're out there, please let me know--but this individual suggested that the arrangement of these two cups of Bubble Tea are not-so-veiled allusions to female breasts:

Bubble Tea is also called boba drink, and "boba" is apparently a Taiwanese reference to large nipples (thus, the straws sticking up). According to the Bubble Tea Supply Website, Bubble Tea, made with tapioca pearls, has a curious consistency and is "known as 'boba' drink in Western China because it is described as to having the same texture as the female breast."

Next time you're thirsty, consider this refreshing beverage, won't you?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Relax and Let Chuckles Take a Look

Here's a sign for a husband and wife OBGYN team that was displayed in the train station in Yao, Osaka Prefecture, Japan. The clown with the balloons is waiting for newborns, so that he can make them smile.

If I saw something like this at my moment of birth, I'd sure as hell be trying to get back into the womb.

Much thanks to my friend, Wenxin Li, for helping me with the translation.

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 3/22/10

Yet another "head shot" for this week's Annoying J. Crew Model. This is one that was left over from the holidays. Given this model's pose, I think it rather appropriate to include it in the head shot series.

What is she doing, her Carnac the Magnificent impression?

See other J. Crew head shots from the previous weeks: 3/15/10, 3/8/10, 3/1/10, 2/22/10, and 2/15/10.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A "Stimulating" Offer

Here's a flyer for a window replacement company:

Why the qualifying quotation marks? Is "stimulus" code for something else?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Frozen Bloody Treats

Last year the Delta County Blood Bank opened a new location in Angels Camp, CA. Part of this new office includes a canteen called Scoops 'n Pints, where those donating blood will be offered free ice cream.

There's something about this arrangement that just chills my blood.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Eyebrows to Dye For

This is the cover of a tie-dye kit we got over a year ago, but have never used.

There's something about this girl's face that creeps me out a little. I'm not sure what it is. Perhaps the curiously long and overly mature eyebrows?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pucker Up for Granny

Here's an animated advertisement that appeared in a sidebar on a Web page I visited this morning. It was one of several ads provided by Adblade, an online advertising business:
I thought the two Mummy Man ads--click here and here--were freaky. But I find this puckering grandma even more disturbing.

...One Nation...Dammit!

I saw this "sign" on a big truck that passed me on the way into Dallas the other day. Although it isn't directly linked to any merchant or marketing personnel, it's nonetheless trying to sell something.
The quality of the photo isn't that great--I took it with my cell phone, and in moving traffic--but you can still make out the wording:

I'm glad they included the exclamation mark. Otherwise, I wouldn't have understood the message.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Taste that Blows

Here is an advertisement sent to me by Ryan Hennessy, a proud fan of the Gallery of the Absurd since its founding in the late 1990s:

Having taken the "Almond Breeze taste challenge," Ryan noted when he sent this image: "I've had almond milk, and the first three words of this ad sum it up very well."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Talking Ronald Update

Back on February 2, I put up a couple of images sent to me by Nick Zachariasen, pictures of a talking Ronald McDonald display he found at a McDonald's in Mitchell, SD. Recently, Nick returned to this den of iniquity, and while there, he took a few more pictures. These are better quality, from different angles, and they give you a fuller sense of what he experienced:
Ronald towers from above, ruthlessly ruling all within his culinary kingdom.

Gentle clown, or nefarious agent of consumer culture?


Confronting evil, head on.


His anthropomorphic friends, abused to the point that they put out their own eyes to keep from witnessing the horrors they must undergo in Ronald's hands.

Even more disturbing are the videos Nick shot, which you can see below. They bring you the sheer terror, in all its audio-visual glory, that is McDonald's. These are not for the faint of heart:


Oh, the humanity!

Dork Shopping

When visiting the Gateway Mall in beautiful Springfield, OR, please be sure and stop by the Magic Castle of Swords.

A veritable breeding ground for Frodo and Harry Potter wannabes.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cleanse on Demand

I hate it when products play the imperative card.
What if I don't want to?

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 3/15/10

The J. Crew Annoying Model for the week of March 15th:

Here's another in a series of "head shots," J. Crew models holding their heads--literally--at strange angles.

Looks like she's trying to twist her head off...and holding her legs in a complementary fashion.

For other other recent head shots, check out the Annoying J. Crew Models for February 15, February 22, March 1, and March 8. Enjoy, won't you?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Exploring Uranus

I try to limit all entries on the Gallery of the Absurd to include only contemporary advertisements, labels, and signs that say something about our marketing and consumer culture. However, every now and again something comes along that strays slightly outside of the Gallery's self-imposed parameters, something that is almost an ad/label/sign, but just so good that I can't ignore it.

Here is such an entry. My good friend, Al Wirtes, and his family recently visited the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library in Broomfield, CO, and while there, Al found some interesting books on our solar system. Here he is with A Look at Uranus:
He also found what promises to be a fun read, Let's Explore Uranus:
I'll refrain from further comment on these texts.

I guess in many ways, the cover of books are like product labels, right?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Stan's Long Load

Here's a picture sent in by our ol' friend, Nick Zachariasen. He saw this truck parked at the Clark Pump N' Pak (I'll refrain from making a comment about the business name) in Oacoma, SD.

Say it out loud, "Stan's long load." Doesn't that brighten up your Saturday?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Constipation Nation

If you use a Web-based email program such as Yahoo Mail or Gmail, I'm sure you've seen a series of advertisements that use ridiculous pictures to capture your attention...and more times than not, the pictures have nothing to do with the advertised product or service. Here's one I recently found on my Yahoo Mail account. This old guy looks really constipated, which I guess is what happens when you discover that you may qualify for financial aid.
And apparently great minds think alike. Yesterday I received this ad from a Gallery watcher, Brynn. It's the exact same image, but this time it's paired with a housing relief program.
Maybe this guy isn't constipated. Maybe he just accidentally sat on a cucumber.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Word Up

Here's the banner featured on Frank Lutz's business Website:

Click on the image and read the slogan: "It's not what you say, it's what people hear." There's something ominous, even evil and 1984ish, about that. But what else might you expect from a conservative pollster?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Unforgettably Creepy Fun

Here's another little bit of nightmare-inspired goodness. It's an advertisement for a clown out of Canada, Chester. Apparently, he provides "unforgettable fun for everyone." You know this is true, since he places those words in quotes, giving them "verisimilitude." And just look at his face. If that doesn't suggest "unforgettable fun," I don't know what does.

Another thing that gets me about this ad: He was formerly "Checkers the Clown," but why change his name to "Chester the Clown"? Checkers seems more of a clown name. Chester is an unwanted dinner party guest.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

By Bologna Has a First Name, It's S-T-U-P-I-D

My good friend Brian sent me this image from an Oscar Mayer advertisement:

Here are his comments that arrived with the image:

"What do you think of the look on his face? Does it give you a good feeling? A feeling of delight? Joy? Is he saying with his extended finger, 'Number one, or 'Just a second'? Do you want to join him in his fun-loving bro-ness and say 'Nuff said' and 'Totally' and 'Awesome' with him? Because conversation is overrated? Unshaven people who frequently eat Oscar Mayer-brand cold cuts understand this, and are 'in on' a level of understanding that the rest of us cannot fathom. Yet we can. If we become more like him."

Words to ponder, my spunky little analytical friend, words to ponder...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Snuggie Update!

This isn't an advertisement, sign, or label, but since it concerns a product I've twice featured on the Gallery (including today's entry), I thought it appropriate to post.

Fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers go nutty! On Friday they tried to set a Guinness world record for the largest gathering of people wearing Snuggies.
There's something about this video that really, really depresses me.


Snuggling Up with Punctuation

Here's a department store price sign for Snuggies, that oh-so-fashionable garment that is sweeping the nation.

I'm stuck by this sign in a couple of ways. First, for some reason the store saw fit to include the word "warm," in case customers might mistakenly assume that Snuggies were made to be worn in 90 degree weather. But more significantly, I'm wondering why they made "Snuggie" possessive. Before you use punctuation in your signage, perhaps it's a good idea to understand the function of that punctuation.


Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 3/8/10

I present to you the Annoying J. Crew Model for the week of March 8th.

This is another in a series of models with weird head positions. Not exactly sure why this one is standing in such an awkward position, or what she doing with that strand of hair.
For more J. Crew "head shots," check out the entries for March 1, February 22, and February 15.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Laden Down with Too Much Car Insurance

Here's another in a series of really weird and senseless advertisements that appear in Facebook:
Homeland Security, at its finest!

Thanks to Gallery friend, Nick Zachariasen, for dropping a dime on this criminal ad.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Oat! Bran! and! Whole! Wheat! Lavash! Bread!

Here's the package from some Lavash flat bread I recently bought at the store:

I was intrigued by the number of exclamation marks they included in their packaging: Omega-3! Super Soft! Great Taste! It's a Wrap! Great Recipe Ideas on Back! Maybe someone in their marketing and/or graphic design departments should cut back on the amount of coffee they drink.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Flushing Your Tensions Away

Years ago, someone (I've since forgotten who) sent me this photo they took while overseas in Asia:

Is this something like one-stop shopping for tension relief?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Edible Babies

Mardi Gras was a couple of weeks ago, and this week someone in my wife's office brought in a king cake for a party they were having.

I know that there are little plastic toy babies baked into king cakes, but do you think this company could have worded the choking hazard to sound less cannibalistic?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Flying in Fairyland

Do you believe in fairies?

If you believe, then clap your hands. Don't let your frequent flyer miles die.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, / Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Here's a recent Walmart commercial. I present it to you with fear and trembling:

Walmart and clowns...we must indeed be at End Times.

Spanking by the Sea

A number of years ago, when I maintained the original Gallery of the Absurd, someone sent me this image of a product whose brand name, I assume, is Spanking!:
I'm not exactly sure what it is, but it was produced by the Nomadic Inc. company. Here is what the fine print at the bottom says: "The earth consists of the water of 130,000,000 cubic km. Then you and I live having 65% of water. We are living with the earth after all. Nomadic Inc."

Try deciphering that.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Burrito's

Here's another gem provided by the Apostrophe Catastrophes blog. This was a sign found in the city of Saskatoon, in Saskatchewan, Canada.
I guess that up in the Great White North, a burrito can really be possessing.

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 3/1/10

Your Annoying J. Crew Model for the first week of March.

Another in a series of J. Crew models who apparently have something wrong with their heads.


Be sure to check out the previous "head shots" for the weeks of 2/15/10 and 2/22/10.

Changing LINKS