10 Hilariously Bad Facebook Ads (You Won’t Believe Are Real)

April 6, 2018

We’re talking about those companies that decided to run ad campaigns but … didn’t seem to think things through all the way.

We’re not sure what compels these businesses and individuals to move forward with these ads but I have to admit it’s great because they give you a laugh. They also serve a purpose. You can use them to learn what not to do with your FB advertising.

That’s what we’re going to do. Here’s a list of ten hilariously bad FB ads, why they totally suck, and what the adQuadrant team would have done differently.

1. The Case of Blatant Copyright Infringement

Blatant Gaming Copyright Issue

Why it sucks

Halo is a very popular video game series so we’re not sure what Warfire is trying to pull with this one. It’s quite clear that they’re using the main protagonist (Master Chief) and other elements from the Halo franchise. Who are they trying to fool?

Don’t: Abuse copyright. You’ll find yourself in a heap of legal issues and you’re also going to get called out on it by the people you’re targeting (in this case – gamers).

2. The Case of Dynamic Ads

Dnyamic Ads

Why it sucks

When you’re pushing a product/service/page it’s probably best that you take the time to … you know … actually fill out the advertising copy. Not with these examples. So there they go spending money on running these ads that completely fail at marketing.

Don’t: Go too fast. Remember that “haste makes waste”. Don’t just rely on a program or template to create your advertisements without having a final check else you could end up doing something like this.

3. The Case of Drug References

Drug References

Why it sucks

The intentions may be good and all (bringing people out to a fun party) but wait a second … “Seen Molly?” Molly is a club drug, a very illegal one, and has been building up popularity in the club culture. The problem? You’re openly promoting the use of illegal drugs. ‘Nuff said.

Don’t: Skirt around legality. The copy may be what your targeted users may say but it’s probably not something you should promote.

4. The Case of the Language Barrier

Language Barrier

Why it sucks

Yes, Facebook isn’t just for English speaking countries. Sometimes an advertiser may have been thrown off if people decided to like or follow a page/individual from a different country. Chances are that the ad will fall flat. Why? It’s pretty obvious … the targeted individual might not understand the language.

Don’t: Get too board with your advertising. If you’re targeting pages/interests/people than also set parameters to ensure they also speak the language of your ads.

5. The Case of Creepy Sexism

Male Gamers

Why it sucks

Let’s see what’s wrong here:

  • Implying a game is only for a specific gender. Check.
  • The use of an exposed female. Check.
  • Using double entendre “once inside … your girlfriend”. Check.

This may work for teenage boys but it’s still just all sorts of creepy and sexist. Do you want your company to be known for that?

Don’t: Do this.

6. The Case of Irrelevance

Thanksgiving Ad (for Vegetarians)

Why it sucks

But wait … this ad looks perfectly fine! You may say. Well it is because it has all the right elements but it missed one major thing … this ad came through to users that have selected they’re vegetarian. Mmm. All that food they’re not going to eat (and may even become annoyed with the brand by suggesting it).

Don’t: Skip out on refining your advertising parameters. Respect the lifestyle choices of others.

7. The Case of … We’re Not Sure

Weird Images

Why it sucks

Why are they teal? Why does the URL take me a blank page that just says “Welcome to Simple Minds Fast Scholarship List”? What do they mean “takes less than 1 minutes”? What does it all mean?!

Don’t: Get too crazy with your advertising elements. Don’t make false claims. Make sure your site is working. Check your spelling. Don’t make people teal.

8. The Case of False Claims (and Bad Photoshop)

Google Money

Why it sucks

$26,000 a month … from Google … for posting links. Yeah, sure. But then it says $27,383 in the title? Wait … is that a bad Photoshop of Dan Rather? The news host? None of this is making sense as an advertisement so we can bet it gets doubly confusing if you visited the site.

Don’t: Use other peoples’ images (copyright). Don’t make outlandish, false claims.

9. The Case of Being Mean


Why it sucks

Let’s go ahead and disregard the spelling mistakes. This ad, as a whole, is down-right mean when you think about it. It’s going after people’s insecurities and how are they going to offer this “unbiased” report … and why are they charging $12.95 for it?

Don’t: Make stupid crap like this. Promote a product/service of real value that doesn’t rely on petty jabs at a person’s self-esteem.

10. The Case of Sneakiness


Why it sucks

Apparently MMM-2011 is some kind of Ponzi scheme which already there it’s not starting off on the right foot. Then you’ve got the outlandish claim of “grow up 75% a month”. You have to “gift” $20 for registration – that doesn’t sound fishy. And of course the fail at trying to fudge the likes.

Don’t: Hand over your advertising to someone that is clearly insane. The adQuadrant team are experts in Facebook direct response advertising. Contact us on how we can create, scale, optimize and monetize your Facebook advertising.

Found ones that are far worse or don’t think these opinions are on point? Share your thoughts in a comment below

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